It’s the never-ending story of Facebook. The New York Times technology blog, Bits, reports that Facebook has turned on facial recognition by default.
By default, this privacy setting tells Facebook servers to search its database for images you (and others) have tagged as you, and then compare that image to any new image a friend uploads. If the servers think they have a match, they will suggest your friend “tag” you in the photo. As the security company Sophos notes:
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 you don’t want Facebook to suggest your name to friends when they upload photos of you, here’s how to change that setting.
1. Go to your Facebook account privacy settings.
2. Select “Customize Settings” (small print hyperlink)
3. On the Customize Privacy Settings page, look for “Things others share.”
You may see “Suggest photos of me to friends. When photos look like me, suggest my name.” If so, select “Edit Settings.”
4. You’ll need to click “Enabled” in order to “Disable” this feature.
While you’re in Facebook privacy settings, now’s a good time to review your settings.
If you are using Facebook something like LinkedIn (accepting friend requests from people you only vaguely know from work, for example), consider blocking your friend’s comments from those almost-strangers by customizing privacy settings for things like wall posts. For example, you can restrict “limited profile” lists from reading other people’s posts (Can see Wall posts by friends). You can also protect yourself, by blocking people you’ve identified as “limited profile” from seeing “Photos and videos you’re tagged in.”
Then go “edit friends” and put the people that you don’t know very well into the “Limited Profile” list.