Facebook Has A New Face Recognition Feature—Here’s How To Turn It Off

They say it's meant to help people with tagging but if you're skeptical, it's easy to disable.

Oh, technology. You can be seriously so awesome, but then downright creepy.

The latest example of what could honestly fall into either category: Facebook’s new face-recognition feature. The company promises the feature is a way to give users more control over their photos and to potentially help people with poor vision. But if you’re a bit a skeptic when it comes to things like a social network literally being able to find your face in a photo, listen up.

How Facebook’s Face Recognition Works

First, let’s break down how this complex software works. Pixels in photos and videos are analyzed to calculate a unique number. Facebook’s software then compares other photos and videos on Facebook to that number and if they find a match another photo of you, it’ll recognize you and let you know that you might be in a photo someone just shared.


So, for example, say you’re in a photo someone posted, but they didn’t tag you. If you have your facial recognition set to “On,” Facebook will send you a notification. You can then decide to leave the photo untagged, tag yourself or contact the person who posted the photo.

The company says this new technology can help you find photos you’re not tagged in, help you detect when other people might be using your photo and help the visually impaired know who is in photos they find on Facebook.

While that all sounds pretty awesome—especially when scams like “Facebook cloning” are all too common—if you value your privacy, you might prefer if Facebook wasn’t able to instantly recognize you. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to make sure the feature is turned off.

How To Turn Off Face Recognition

  1. Click the down arrow at the top right of your Facebook page and choose “Settings”
  2. Click on “Face Recognition”
  3. Click “Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?” then select “No”

Kaitlin Gates

Even if you leave the feature on, it won’t do much to prevent people from posting photos of you in the first place, so you will need to continue to keep your eyes open for possible scams.

Looking for even more privacy? Don’t forget to disable location tracking on your smartphone!