Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Facebook Privacy - Facial Recognition

This is bordering on the creepy.  Luckily you can turn it off.

So why the creepy?  

What it does is that if you have a picture up on Facebook the new setting suggests that this picture that someone uploaded is you.  Got that? 

Let me try again.  Someone took a picture of a group of people.  Say in an amusement park.  You happen to be in the background.  You don't know these folks but there you are.   Facebook looks at the picture and scans its database.  This stranger from somewhere else now is suggested to tag it with your identity.

Now it's starting to sound creepy and James Bond -ish. 

So someone you don't know, have never met has decided this is you.   Since Facebook does not require your permission for someone else to tag your pictures, you have to be watching the status page of Facebook to know if it has happened.   If you turn your head the wrong way some days, you miss a page full of information.

We all know Facebook is a massive privacy hole, the governments are using it to track people.  Fair enough, you or I aren't doing anything that we should worry about, but if you are someone who has a restraining order against someone it's possible that you could have that person drop by for an unwanted visit.

For safety's sake of those who may be less able to take care of themselves then, it's a good reason to switch this off.

Here is how:

Log into Facebook
Go to the Facebook Privacy Settings on the upper right of the page and click on the link.
Click on Customize Settings
Find the grouping of "Things Others Share"
Find the option of "Suggest photos of me to friends" and click on "Edit Settings".

You will get a light box pop up that will describe the "feature" and by default it is enabled.  Naughty Facebook.   If you click on the "Enabled" Button you will be allowed to turn it off.   Then click OK.

I did.  It's just too creepy.

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