You may have recently come across a Facebook notification introducing you to the network’s new ‘facial recognition’ feature that notifies you when someone uploads a photo of you to Facebook’s network – even if you weren’t actually tagged in the first place. Although the feature was first announced in December 2017, the company has just now rolled out the feature.
Facial recognition-based features are nothing new to Facebook. But, when the social networking company first implemented the technology in 2013, it limited its use to suggest friends to tag in photos. Now, the new developments are designed to give users more control over the face recognition feature.
It can now do some handy new things, like – It can notify you when someone posts a picture of you without tagging you, so you can tag yourself or report the photo if it’s inappropriate. It helps to combat fake accounts by notifying you when someone uses your photo as a profile picture. It can also help blind and visually impaired users identify people by providing text descriptions of who’s in a photo or video.
According to the company’s spokesperson, Facebook doesn’t store people’s images directly; it creates a blueprint or faceprint of the face.
While the use of face recognition seems to be helpful and would decrease unauthorized image uploads, the idea of Facebook scanning every photo and using facial recognition to collect our biometric data is sure to upset some people. Thankfully, Facebook is giving us the option to opt out of the feature altogether with one simple setting.
Facebook says that the feature is ‘Off’ by default, but if you have enabled ‘tag suggestions’ feature, then it will be set to ‘On.’ Here’s a step-by-step guide to turning off Facebook’s face recognition feature:
To turn off Facebook’s Face Recognition on Desktop:
- Click on the down arrow in the top right corner of your facebook app and then select ‘Settings.’
- From there, click “Face Recognition” from the left column, and there you will find a setting called “Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?”
- Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ based on your personal preferences.
To turn off Facebook’s Face Recognition on Phone:
- Tap on the ‘three-line’ icon in the top right corner of your facebook app.
- Settings > Account Settings > Face Recognition Settings.
- Then tap on the option, “Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?”
- Choose ‘No‘ to disable the feature.
The setting isn’t available in all countries, and will only appear as an option in your profile if you’re at least 18 years old and have the feature available to you.