Facial Recognition is all the rage today, with products such as the iPhone X putting the technology front and center. Now social media giant Facebook has entered the fray. Facebook announced back in December that they would be adding this technology to their platform.

For those that are concerned about privacy, Facebook has noted that facial recognition can be found in the settings and that it is turned off by default. This means that users who want the features it offers will have to enable it under their settings manually.

So, what does Facebook's new technology do exactly?

It appears the facial recognition service can do quite a bit. If enabled, it can notify you when pictures of yourself are uploaded anywhere on Facebook. Not only is this helpful for you to find pictures from friends that may not have tagged you, but Facebook notes this will help cut down on “catfishing” (a catfish is someone pretending to be someone else in order to enter relationships with unsuspecting people).

Facebook claims this puts users more in control of their own image online, and to an extent, you can see how this is true. The announcement also detailed how the new feature will help visually impaired people as well. Facebook says facial recognition will allow those with sight impairments hear who is in the picture currently on their news feed.

How does Facebook scan and use your face?

Essentially, it sounds like Facebook already had the technology implemented elsewhere on the site. Facebook stated that it has been in use since 2010 by suggesting friends you may want to tag in images you upload. It would seem the change is to allow the technology to “recognize” you and use that recognition to find images matching your face elsewhere on the site.

The change is subtle since the tag suggestions setting is closely related to this. The tag suggestion setting would allow Facebook to suggest you as a person to tag when other people upload images of you. By turning it off, Facebook no longer uses your face to suggest you be tagged. The company noted that if your suggestion setting is toggled off, the facial recognition setting will be off as well.

Are there concerns with Facebook tracking your face?

There are surely concerns for some people. Everyone has a different opinion regarding privacy online. As Gizmodo pointed out, Facebook says the templates it uses to detect your face online are deleted if you opt out, but they did not mention if Facebook retains your facial ID. This remains to be answered by the social media company. That being said, there are several things worth noting regarding Facebook’s new setting.

First, this software has been in use for nearly eight years now. Chances are, many users have this enabled through the suggestion settings and did not even notice it. The new facial recognition setting seems to be more about protecting or giving you more control of your image than anything else.

Second, Facebook appears to have gone to greater lengths this time around with a privacy policy and customer feedback. At least so far, Facebook appears to be acting responsibly and sensibly with implementing the new technology.