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For all its posturing that privacy is a major concern, Facebook sure does keep undermining itself. The latest gaffe: Some users are reporting that the automatic facial recognition setting is conspicuously absent from their Facebook settings. This feature, which rolled out in late 2017, uses machine learning to automatically tag you in photos. Facebook has touted the technology’s recognition capabilities, which includes the ability to identify an individual’s gender, age, and race, and memorize faces. Impressive, sure, but also intrusive. Not everyone wants to be tagged in all photos, and users should be able to opt out.
For what it’s worth, the option was clearly present when we checked the settings on Facebook’s website, but according to a small audit run by Consumer Reports, the facial-recognition section was absent in roughly 25% of the accounts it polled. It’s unclear as to whether this is an error, or if Facebook hasn’t rolled out the feature to all accounts yet. Either way, it’s a bad look for a company that’s been struggling against troubling privacy reports lately.
So, we’re curious: Is the option available for you? Let us know in the comments. If you’re not sure where to find it, it should be in your Facebook account settings. Either sign into the website or open the Facebook app, then go to “Settings.” The facial recognition section is normally located under the “Languages” tab on the left-side menu.
How to disable automatic facial recognition on Facebook
As long as the setting is present, you can disable it by tapping/licking “Edit” next to “Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?” Select “No” from the drop-down box, then tap/click “close.” Hopefully, the option to opt out will exist for everyone soon. However, with so many other privacy missteps lately, we wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes yet another reason people choose to close their Facebook accounts.