HOW TO: Stop Facebook From Using Facial Recognition To Suggest Tagging You In Photos

By David Cohen 

Facebook’s acquisition of facial-recognition firm earlier this week rekindled concerns about the social network’s use of facial-recognition technology, which has come under fire in the past. While the feature cannot be turned off altogether, there are ways to limit its use.

Sophos’ Naked Security blog posted a reminder on how Facebook users can disable the ability for their friends to automatically receive suggestions to tag them in photos:

  1. Go to your Facebook account’s privacy settings.
  2. Go to “Timeline and tagging” and click on “Edit settings.”
  3. Choose “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?”
  4. Select “No one” if you don’t want Facebook to tell your friends when it has recognized your face in a photo they have uploaded.
  5. Press “OK.”

Naked Security wrote:

Although Facebook’s motivation may currently be to interconnect more of its users and make photo tagging a more seamless process, the idea of there being a database built of 900 million people’s faces, with knowledge of who and what they like, and their personal relationships and conversations, puts a chill down the spine of privacy advocates.

Questions raised by Facebook’s facial-recognition capabilities include how securely the database of information is stored, and how else might Facebook try to use it — including whether it might use the data to make money.

So, how can you disable Facebook’s facial-recognition technology? Sadly, you can’t.

But what you can do is prevent Facebook from using its facial-recognition database to suggest to your Facebook friends, when they upload photos of you to the site, that the pictures should be tagged with your name.

This doesn’t mean that Facebook won’t learn about what you look like and associate it with your likes and friendships, but it does mean that you can opt out of Facebook using the data it has collected on your appearance.

Readers: Have you adjusted your photo-tagging settings on Facebook?

Question mark image courtesy of Shutterstock. Screen shots courtesy of Naked Security.