Facebook users have noticed a strange new notification in their News Feeds, letting them know about the increasingly complete facial recognition functions of the platform. Users with more questions are directed to a privacy page with more information and more detailed instructions to opt out of the system.
Four different members of Verge saw the notification in the last 24 hours, including one that currently visits Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress.
Facebook has used some form of facial recognition for years, particularly to suggest friends' names when tagging photos. Representatives of the company say that the latest notification refers to a function that was announced in December, which looks for its face in photos in which it is not labeled. The function has been slowly unfolding since December, and the exclusion page seems to have been shot out at the same time. The feature will not be implemented for Facebook users in Canada or the European Union due to stricter regulations on collecting facial data in those regions.
The new wave of notifications comes less than 24 hours after a major court ruling against Facebook. On February 26, a California federal court ruled that the company is bound by the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires notification and consent before biometric information can be collected from an Illinois resident. According to a Facebook representative, however, smaller groups of users have been seeing notifications since December, and the latest boost is not related to the decision.