How to Disable Facebook's Facial Recognition Feature

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

The stated purpose of Facebook's facial recognition technology is to assist users with tagging their friends in photos. 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 Disable the Facebook Facial Recognition Features

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

  1. Select the down-arrow icon in the upper-right corner.

    The Account icon on Facebook
  2. Click Settings & Privacy.

    Settings & Privacy in Facebook
  3. Choose Privacy Shortcuts.

    The "Privacy Shortcuts" command
  4. Under Privacy, select See more privacy settings.

    "See more privacy settings" on the Privacy Shortcuts page on Facebook
  5. From the left menu, select Face Recognition.

    Face Recognition in Facebook's privacy settings
  6. Next to the setting labeled, "Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?" select Edit.

    The Edit link next to Facebook's facial recognition settings
  7. 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 videos you're in so Facebook can help you review or share content, suggest tags, and provide relevant content and feature recommendations.
  • To protect you and others from impersonation and identity misuse and improve platform reliability.

Currently, photo tagging appears to be the only thing that Facebook uses their facial recognition technology for, but this may 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.

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