Google‘s Google+ social networking site is making it easier to tag people through an opt-in “Find My Face Feature” that uses facial recognition technology.
In a blog post, Google engineer Matt Steiner wrote, “By turning on Find My Face, Google+ can prompt people you know to tag your face when it appears in photos.” He added that “you have control over which tags you accept or reject, and you can turn the feature on or off in Google+ settings.”
At a Federal Trade Commission facial recognition workshop in Washington, Google product counsel Benjamin Petrosky said that Find My Face is completely opt-in and you can opt-out at any time. Petrosky said that it makes these suggestions to “people we believe you know” which would include people in your circles or people you had contacted via Gmail. It could also include people you “Plus1″ or who’s content you share on the service.
The service is being rolled out over a period of time so it might not be immediately available for all users.
How Google+ Find My Face Feature works
Let’s say “Kim” decides to opt-in to Find My Face. When “Sunny” (who is connected to her through a circle or another connection) sees a picture that has Kim in it, he might see a notification that says “is this Kim?” If so, Gaga has the option of tagging her in the photo.
According to Google spokesperson Eitan Bencuya, “once you’re tagged you always have the option of removing that tag and you can always disable Find My Face.”
The technology is similar to Facebook’s suggested tags feature that was launched in June.
The Federal Trade Commission held a facial recognition workshop on Thursday where government officials, privacy advocates and representatives from several companies, including Google, discussed the ethics of facial recognition.
Google+ has attracted more than 40 million users since it opened to the public in September, but has a long way to catch up with Facebook‘s membership of approximately 800 million.