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FaceBook Photo Tagging with Face Recognition Under Fire

FaceBook Recognition feature has privacy issuesThough many look forward to the latest feature FaceBook will roll out, the new face recognition feature has cause its share of negative backlash over the possibility of violating privacy. If you recall, FaceBook ran into a similar wall not too long ago over privacy issues that that threatened the security of private information placed on the social networking giant. Now that FaceBook launched the new facial recognition feature, the security firm Sophos began to alert FaceBook users about the potentially dangerous software that would automatically identify and tag you in pictures without prior permission.

Just one day after Sophos began their mission to inform FaceBook users of the new added tagging feature, FaceBook admitted that they could have handled the launch much better. Users on the social iconic web site received no warning about the new feature leaving it up to users to eventually notice it in the future. Of course users have the option of an opt-out of the feature, but once the launch was official, users were opted-in by default which made it seem as if FaceBook wanted to slide the new feature under the rug.

Other concerns of the new FaceBook recognition feature is the public knowledge that FaceBook works closely with the C.I.A and allows the private U.S. agency to monitor users and access information without the consent or knowledge of their members.

Here is Where the Issue Lies

Once you upload a photo, FaceBook will scan the photo and make an educated guess on who the person or persons may be in the photo. You then have the option of confirming the guess and moving on to the next photo. The feature is designed to help get through tagging uploaded photos much quicker. The issue is that users have no idea that this is happening and it occurs without their permission. Though FaceBook has more than 500 million users, many of them lock up their accounts and only allow friends of the pages to view the information – including photos. Another issue that concerns many is that the data sits on FaceBook’s servers and they control it all. Some believe that this type of information will somehow make to world governments and place users under the surveillance of their public officials.

How do You Stop This Privacy Concern?

The good news about this whole ordeal is that users have the option of turning off the feature, and here is how you do it.

Step 1: Change Your Privacy Settings

To make this feature go away, you have to follow simple steps. It seems as if FaceBook tried to hide the ability for users to find the feature and disable it, but it can be found.

Go to your ACCOUNT button at the upper right hand corner of your profile and choose “Privacy Settings” on the drop down menu.

Once you arrive at the page, you want to go to the bottom of the page and click on the little link that says “Customize Settings”.

On that page, you want to scroll down the page until you see the “Suggest Photos of Me to Friends” and click on the edit button across from it. this will allow you to disable the feature.

Step 2: Contact FaceBook

After you’ve disabled the feature, you can contact the FaceBook Photos Team to wipe your face from their database. Just click on the contact us link in the first sentence and send your message to FaceBook.

Now, one issue with the request is that you have no real way of knowing if the company honored your request to remove your face from their database. So you have to trust that they did.

Even though FaceBook has had their fair share of privacy issues, users will not only continue to log onto the social leader, but many more will continue to establish their FaceBook profiles. At this point, all I can say is read and understand the rules of FaceBook to gain a better knowledge of what they are capable of.

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