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Facebook will no longer scan user faces by default

Facebook makes facial recognition for photos opt-in by default. As of today, it launches the Face Recognition privacy setting, which it first introduced in December 2017, to all users. If you have face recognition turned on, Facebook will notify you if someone uploads a photo of you, even if you are not tagged. You can then tag yourself, remain unnoticed, or report the photo if there is something you want to take down. Facebook tells The Verge that it expects to complete the rollout over the next few weeks.

If you do not already have the face recognition setting, Facebook says you will receive a notification about it in your news feed and allow you to turn it on from this notification. If you do not make a choice when you see the notification, Face Detection will not turn on. Facebook says that new users will also have face recognition by default. The new option will be available in the settings menu.

Face recognition will replace tag suggestions, which let you decide if friends will see a suggestion to tag you in a photo when they upload it. The new face recognition setting expands with what the tag suggestions provided, but it also states more explicitly that face recognition is done on photos uploaded to Facebook.

Facebook has been having legal issues lately for not disclosing its face recognition practices. In August, Facebook lost a federal appeal after courts found the company collected and stored biometric data without user consent. The company can pay billions if it loses the case.

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