Facebook changes privacy settings for millions of users - facial recognition is now enabled
Facebook users are reporting that the site has enabled the option in the last few days without giving users any notice.
When Facebook revealed last year it was introducing facial recognition technology to help users tag their friends in photographs, they gave the functionality to North American users only.
Most of the rest of us found the option in our privacy settings was "not yet available", which meant we could neither enable or disable it. We simply had to wait until Facebook decided to roll it out to our account.
Unfortunately, once again, Facebook seems to be sharing personal information by default. Many people feel distinctly uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission.
Most Facebook users still don't know how to set their privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. It's even harder though to keep control when Facebook changes the settings without your knowledge.
The tagging is still done by your friends, not by Facebook, but rather creepily Facebook is now pushing your friends to go ahead and tag you.
Remember, Facebook does not give you any right to pre-approve tags. Instead the onus is on you to untag yourself in any photo a friend has tagged you in. After the fact.
If this is something you're uncomfortable with, disable "Suggest photos of me to friends" now.
Here's how you do it.
- Go to your Facebook account's privacy settings.
- Click on "Customise settings".
- Under "Things others share" you should see an option titled "Suggest photos of me to friends. When photos look like me, suggest my name".
- Unfortunately at this point you can't tell whether Facebook has enabled the setting or not, you have to dig deeper..
- Click on "Edit settings".
- If Facebook has enabled auto-suggestion of photo tags you will find the option says "Enabled".
- Change it to "Disabled" if you don't want Facebook to work that way.
- Press "OK".