File Image: THIBAULT CAMUS/AP

CAPE TOWN - Facebook uses its facial recognition technology to find your face in images and alert you when you're tagged in other images. 

How it works:

Their facial recognition technology analyses the pixels in photos you’re already tagged in and generates a string of numbers to create a template. When photos and videos are uploaded to their systems, it is compares those images to the template.

It’s used for suggesting tags in photos uploaded by your friends and family. The core objective of face recognition is to make it easier for people to quickly select you when they’re sharing photos on the app or website.

When friends share images including you, face recognition will suggest you at the top of the tag results when there’s a likely match. It alerts you if someone uses a picture of you as their profile photo. 

In an attempt to prevent impersonation and spam accounts on the platform, Facebook is using face recognition to tell you if it detects another profile that’s got your face as the main photo.

Additionally,  Face recognition helps people with visual impairments know who’s in a photo. 



(Image: An alert from Facebook letting you know that they will be using Facial Recognition)

However, If you're not comfortable with Facebook knowing your face and prefer to give permission yourself then you can turn the  facial recognition off. 

Here's how to turn it off: 


1. On your phone, go to your own profile page, then tap the “More” icon — a circle with three dots in the middle. 

2.  Choose “More Settings” and then finally tap on Face Recognition. 

3. Make sure “Do you want Facebook to be able to recognize you in photos and videos?” is set to no. 

Facebook claims it’s honoring previous user privacy preferences here; if you’ve already turned off tag suggestions at some point, face recognition should theoretically be disabled when you check this setting.