Facebook Ads Explain How to Disable Facial Recognition

Connecticut's attorney general prompted move

When Facebook rolled out its facial recognition feature last month, and automatically activated it as a default setting, many people were worried that the “tag suggestions” could be a privacy risk—including Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.

Jepsen contacted the company to express his concerns about the privacy implications of the tag suggestions, and the fact that users weren’t given adequate warning about the feature or told how to disable it easily. So Facebook began running ads showing users how to change their privacy settings to deactivate the tag suggestions.

The first round of ads ran on Facebook at the beginning of July, and the second wave of ads started yesterday and will run for two weeks. The social network claims that every user will see the ad at least twice.

“Facebook has made significant changes that will provide better service and greater privacy protection to its users, not only in Connecticut, but across the country,” Jepsen said in a statement yesterday, adding that the company was “cooperative and diligent in its response.”

Jepsen was told that “for any users who opt out, any facial recognition data collected will be deleted,” that none of the data would be used for commercial or marketing purposes, and that the information was secure.