Facebook just added a simple 'on/off switch' for its facial recognition features

Audrey Hill
December 20, 2017

For users who are not convinced that the multibillion-dollar corporation has their best interests at heart, Facebook is adding a simple on/off button for its facial recognition features, which users can access through their account settings.

For the time being, those settings are the only means to tinker with facial recognition, with folks being asked to grant Facebook permission to use facial recognition across the service.

More information on Facebook's use of facial recognition can be found by visiting the help center.

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The new features debuting will be available everywhere except Europe and Canada, where privacy regulators have previously raised objections to Facebook's auto photo tagging feature, Sherman said. The company already uses facial recognition to suggest friends to tag in photos by scanning the photo for faces already stored in its system. Our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you're already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template. Users will then have the option of tagging themselves, remaining untagged or reaching out to the person who posted the photo if there are concerns.

Are you anxious about frenemies posting unflattering images of you on Facebook? The only exception to this is if the image was set as a profile picture, which is useful if you want to identify fake accounts. When a new photo or video shows up on Facebook, it is compared to the template to determine who it is. From there, you basically climb down the social media rabbit hole, looking at older pictures and friends you previously didn't engage with as much.

The new settings will appear on Facebook platforms everywhere, with the exception of Canada and the European Union, where the company doesn't offer facial recognition. It won't be too long however, before you'll receive a notification should anyone use your image as a profile picture, irrelevant of the other users privacy settings. It may allow you to remove this feature for other people and yourself, but Facebook hasn't earned any trust on this issue. It's harder if the possible pool is more than a billion people, a.k.a. Facebook's entire user base. The idea is to give you more control over your identity online by informing you when your face appears in a photo, even those you don't know about.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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