Facebook will now allow all its users to opt-in or out of its ‘face recognition’ feature which was used by default to provide tag suggestions, the company said in a blog post. If used, the face recognition technology will notify users about pictures in which they appear, but haven’t been tagged. The default ‘tag suggestions’ feature will now be rolled back.

Users will be allowed to keep the ‘facial recognition’ feature switched off, users can tag others manually but Facebook itself will not give them any suggestions. “If you do not currently have the face recognition setting and do nothing, we will not use face recognition to recognize you or suggest tags,” said Facebook. “In addition, features like Photo Review, which lets you know when you appear in photos even if you are not tagged, as long as you have permission to see the post based on its privacy setting, will not be activated. People will still be able to manually tag friends, but we won’t suggest you to be tagged if you do not have face recognition turned on.” the company said.

The feature was launched in 2017 for some users

Facebook had introduced the face recognition feature back in December 2017 for a select group of users which is now being expanded to all its users. The feature was introduced to notify users when other people might try to use their pictures as their profile image and also find photos in which the user is not tagged. As a part of this feature, Facebook notifies its users about pictures and posts where he or she may be present but have not been tagged. The company had said that “if the tag suggestions setting is set to “none,” then the default face recognition setting will be set to “off” and will remain so until the user changes it.

Face recognition feature under scrutiny since 2015

According to The Verge, Facebook had lost a federal appeal in a lawsuit related to its face recognition technology used for its ‘Tag Suggestions’ feature. The company was dragged to court in 2015 under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act which states that companies are to come up with a public policy before collecting biometric data of its users. According to the court, using face recognition technology without user consent is a breach in user privacy.