Facebook begins using face recognition tech to help users better manage their identity on the platform

Amy Gesenhues on
  • Categories: Channel: Social Media Marketing, Facebook, Facebook: Business Issues, Facebook: Privacy
  • Facebook announced today that it will be using face recognition technology to help users manage their identity on the platform by letting them know if someone has posted their photo on the site without tagging them.

    “Powered by the same technology we’ve used to suggest friends you may want to tag in photos or videos, these new features help you find photos that you’re not tagged in, and help you detect when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture,” writes Facebook’s director of applied machine learning, Joaquin Quiñonero Candela.

    Facebook says it will notify users and give them the option to tag themselves, to remain “untagged” in the photo or to reach out to the user who shared the photo if there are any concerns — although if you’re not part of the audience selected for the photo, you won’t be notified.

    “We always respect the privacy setting people select when posting a photo on Facebook (whether that’s friends, public or a custom audience), so you won’t receive a notification if you’re not in the audience,” writes Candela.

    The option to be notified is controlled by an “on/off” control in the user’s tag suggestions settings. If that setting is currently set to “none,” the default face recognition notification will be turned off.

    In addition to letting users know if their photos have been posted, Facebook is using the face recognition technology to build on its tools for the visually impaired.

    “Now, with face recognition, people who use screen readers will know who appears in photos in their News Feed even if people aren’t tagged.”

    Facebook says the new face recognition technology features are being used “in most places,” excluding Canada and the EU.

    About The Author

    Amy Gesenhues
    Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media's General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.