How to turn off Facebook's creepy new facial recognition feature

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Facebook introduced new facial recognition features on Tuesday.

Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a new feature which leverages its facial recognition technology to tell you when it thinks you've appeared in a photo but haven't been tagged. "Our technology analyzes the pixels in photos you're already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template", said Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Facebook's director of Applied Machine Learning, in the blog post. We're all aware that Facebook knows more about us than we'd like, but this might be a step too far. If you're not in that audience, you won't be notified.

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.

As optimistic as Facebook is about the new use case for its facial recognition technology, it also recognizes that this is not something that everyone is going to want to participate in. The social network doesn't use facial-recognition technology in those regions, due to wariness from privacy regulators. You'll be able to find the on/off switch in Settings under Face Recognition, which will disable the notifications.

If you're in someone's profile photo which is always public, you'll always be notified. When photos and videos are uploaded to Facebook, they are compared to images in the template to determine if there is a match. "We listen carefully to feedback from people who use Facebook, as well as from experts in the field", Sherman wrote.

"We are now using various signals (like an IP address) to help us proactively recognize this type of account and prevent its owner from sending a message or friend request to the person who blocked the original account", Antigone Davis, Facebook's global head of safety, wrote in a post .

Naturally there are fun reasons for a feature like this, such as when someone posts of a photo from a family outing you may have attended, allowing you to keep a photo you may not have seen otherwise.

Facebook will also allow users to ignore a conversation in Messenger and move it out of your inbox without having to block the sender.

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