Facebook brings back facial recognition for photo tagging
In a controversial move, Facebook brings back facial recognition tagging for photos. (AP / Stace Maude)
Published Friday, February 1, 2013 9:02PM EST
Facebook announced it is re-enabling a photo tag suggestion feature that uses facial recognition technology.
The company initially announced tag suggestions back in December 2010 as part of an effort to streamline the process of tagging photos.
The feature uses face recognition software to match new photos to Friends in previously-tagged images. Facebook groups similar photos together and suggests the name of the person photographed.
After launching tag suggestion in the United States, the company rolled it out to most countries by mid-2011.
Facebook suspended the feature in 2011 so that the company could make “technical improvements,” the announcement said.
The company on Thursday announced it was re-implementing the feature in the United States “so that people can use facial recognition to help them easily identify a friend in a photo and share that content with them. This is the same feature that millions of people previously used to help them quickly share billions of photos with friends and family.”
Users who don’t want their names suggested automatically can disable the feature in their privacy settings.
While Facebook didn’t specify when Canadian users will get access to the new feature, the social network is notorious for introducing new features to specific markets before expanding access to all users.