Facebook’s Face Recognition and Privacy

Photo courtesy Lin Pernelle Photography FlickrccFacebook recently introduced a new feature call Tag Suggestions. This feature is possible due to new face-recognition software that scans the image, recognizes peoples’ faces allowing the site to automatically add names to the photo that been uploaded. while this means that sharing photos becomes a whole lot easier, it also removes some of the control people have over what’s posted. This software is also not fool-proof so may misidentify people, adding their name to photos they are not actually in.


While Facebook alerts people when they have been tagged, ‘automatic’ tagging means that Facebook has this feature turned on by default and rather than choosing to opt into using it, you need to choose to opt out if you have any concerns.

And should you have concerns? Each piece of information about someone that is online is part of that person’s ‘digital footprint’ or ‘digital dossier’ and so it is smart to stop and make conscious decisions about whether you want to give your consent to automatic tagging or not. Will the photos damage future job prospects? your acceptance into an exchange program? will your parents or partner see it? The same also applies to the photos you upload — will your friends be happy to be automatically tagged in your photos?

If you decide you want to protect your privacy and turn this feature off, here’s what to do:

  1. Click on Account
  2. Go to Privacy Settings
  3. Click on Customize Settings
  4. Scroll to Things Others Share
  5. Go to Suggest Photos of Me to Friends then click Edit Settings
  6. Click on Disabled
  7. Click OK

If you want to know more how to customize your privacy settings, check out this article on mashable.com —

Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings Every User Needs to Know

This entry was posted in eSafety, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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