How to Disable Facebook's Facial Recognition Feature

Facebook can identify your face. Creepy or cool? You decide.

Group of friends taking a photo of themselves on a camera phone

 Yuri_Arcurs / Getty Images

The stated purpose of Facebook's facial recognition technology is to assist users with tagging their friends in photos. Unfortunately, testing done by some reviewers has found the technology to be ​less than accurate. In Europe, Facebook was required to delete European users' facial recognition data due to privacy concerns.

Facebook's facial recognition will likely improve over time and more applications for the technology will be found. As the technology matures, some people will view facial recognition data as harmless, but others will have concerns about how the data is used.

Whatever your position, here's how to adjust your privacy settings to disable facial recognition

How to You Disable Facebook's Facial Recognition Features

Follow these steps to stop Facebook from auto-tagging with facial recognition.

  1. Log into Facebook and select the down-arrow icon in the upper-right corner, then select Settings & Privacy > Privacy Shortcuts.

    Facebook Settings and privacy
  2. Under Privacy, select See more privacy settings.

    Facebook See more privacy settings
  3. From the menu on the left, select Face Recognition.

  4. Next to the setting labeled, "Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?" select Edit.

    Facebook Face Recognition
  5. Select the drop-down box that appears and choose No.

    Facebook Face Recognition Setting

Why and How Does Facebook Use Face Recognition?

According to Facebook's help site, there are two ways Facebook uses its facial recognition technology:

To find photos and video you’re in so we can help you review or share content, suggest tags, and provide more relevant content and feature recommendations.
To help protect you and others from impersonation and identity misuse, and improve platform reliability.

Currently, photo tagging appears to be the only thing that Facebook is using their facial recognition technology for, but this may likely change in the future as other uses are discovered.

The best advice for dealing with any Facebook privacy concerns you may have is to check your privacy settings at least once a month to see if there is something that you were opted-in to that you would rather opt-out of.