Google+ has jumped into the world of facial recognition technology, joining Facebook which launched its capability earlier this year. Google+ rolled out the "Find My Face" feature this week to make it easier and faster to tag people in your photos.
Here's what Matt Steiner, the Engineering Lead on the Google+ Photos team, had to say about the new tagging capabilities:
Around the holidays, many of us get together with friends and family, and if you’re like me, you take lots of photos! Tagging those photos can be a lot of work. So today we’re launching Find My Face, an easier way to tag photos of yourself and your friends.
By turning on Find My Face, Google+ can prompt people you know to tag your face when it appears in photos. Of course, you have control over which tags you accept or reject, and you can turn the feature on or off in Google+ settings. (https://plus.google.com/settings/plus)
CNN Money reports that at first glance Google+ Find My Face and Facebook's facial recognition service look very similar, but there are some differences. Differences include that Google+ has users opt in to using the service before suggesting friends to tag and the person tagged will need to approve the photo before it goes live. Early this year, Facebook got itself into hot water over automatically opting in users to its facial recognition service, which it later apologized for and provided an opt out. CNN reports that at a recent policy summit of the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook came under criticism again for not requiring pre-approval of tags before they air.
Here's more on Google's efforts to maintain transparency and user privacy, especially with its location tracking tools:
Some criticism that the FTC did have for Find My Face, according to CNN, was that a person on Google+ using the service does not need to be in a shared "circle" -- similar to a Facebook friend -- in order to tag someone. On Facebook, one must be friends with the person they are tagging first.