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I don't want my photos automatically 'tagged' by iOS. How do i disable this?

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Apple did not give us a way to opt-out of the image analysis and the only way to avoid it is to move your photos off of the iOS device.

Maybe good to know. All image analysis is done on device and never leaves your device.

Apple’s system is more focused on privacy than Facebook's or Google’s, with stricter limits on how the data is collected and stored. Onstage, Federighi insisted that Apple’s new system only uses local data, which means the company isn’t storing faceprints on company servers — a crucial point for anyone worried about their faceprint being used for more than just cataloging photos. Faceprints are still being created and used, but it's all happening on your phone, where Apple and the rest of the world can't access it. That’s different from Google and Facebook, which store data on the cloud and get significant scale benefits as a result.

Source: Apple's new facial recognition feature could spur legal issues - The Verge

What you can do to ensure more privacy is to not name the detected faces and to merge all detected faces into one single people album. This will prevent Photos from identifying more photos of the same persons. Then hide the people album. Then the persons will not be used in Memories.

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I still don't trust it. The fact that Apple chose and continues choosing to disallow users the option to turn it off is extremely suspect and a colossal privacy risk, and speaks volumes. Even if it's true that under normal circumstances the facial data doesn't leave the phone by design, that doesn't meant it can't leave the phone by other means and be misused. For that reason, I have mitigated facial recognition (iOS 11). It requires a jailbreak, however. I actually made a decision to buy iPhone X only after I verified that (1) I could jailbreak it, (2) specifically for the purpose of being able to disable facial profiling. Had I not been able to verify this before-hand, I would have gone with a non-Apple phone because Apple gives us no way to turn off the "feature."

I set up a cron job on my phone that runs every 15 minutes and, in essence, executes against Photos.sqlite, a "delete from [table name]," iterating through tables including, but not limited to:

  • zdeferredrebuildface
  • zdetectedface
  • zdetectedfacegroup
  • zdetectedfaceprint
  • zperson

...and as well manipulates *face* and *person* indicies.

  • Would it be possible to simply set up a custom sqlite3 trigger in the database to empty the tables whenever anything's added to them? – Austin Burk May 17 '18 at 17:20

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