Facebook has released a new service that uses facial recognition technology to automatically identify faces in photographs in a bid to further simplify the process of tagging users in a group of photos. For example, according to Facebook, “if you upload pictures from your cousin’s wedding, we’ll group together pictures of the bride and suggest her name. Instead of typing her name 64 times, all you’ll need to do is click “Save” to tag all of your cousin’s pictures at once.” The technology allows users to upload photos on the site and suggest the names of those present in the photographs so that users can decide whether to tag them or not. Furthermore, the new tag suggestion feature will check photos for faces that are similar to those of any of your friends and match new photos to those that people have already been tagged in.
Although some concerns are being raised by privacy advocates, some of whom are worried that the technology could be used by policy to identify suspects, Facebook maintains that only friends will be able to tag one another and the system will only suggest friends as tag options. In addition, similar photographs will be grouped while users can control whether or not they want to be part of the program by turning the feature on or off via Facebook’s privacy settings. Also, users will still receive notifications when tagged, and will be able to untag themselves at any given time.
Have you tried the new tagging system yet? What are your first impressions?