If you’re a regular Facebook user, you know that Facebook already does an auto-suggest of the identities of people who are among your friends.  But Facebook’s going to be taking facial recognition even further with its very recent purchase of Face.com (a maker of facial recognition software).  This is a development that I want to bring to your attention in case you want to be pro-active.

What could this mean for you?  Will Oremus talked about this issue (www.slate.com, “Facebook Has Automatically Signed You Up for Facial Recognition.  Here’s How to Opt Out.”) and cited to Graham Cluley’s  NakedSecurity blog (http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com).  They explain that Facebook could start using this additional technology to suggest that your friends tag pictures they post of you with your name.

This means an expanding Facebook database linking people’s faces with their personal identity and names.

You may be fine with this so there’s nothing you’ll need to do.  And as Mr. Oremus and Mr. Cluley point out, you can’t disable the facial recognition technology.

But what if you do mind?  What if you would like to protect your privacy more? Mr. Cluley cites 3 easy steps so you can opt out of this particular feature.  You need to:

  1. Go the Facebook privacy settings.
  2. Go to the “Timeline and Tagging” option and hit “Edit Settings”.
  3. Go to the “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?”.  Here’s where you can control what happens.  You can only chose “Friends” and “No one” since the good news is that Facebook won’t allow just anyone, including strangers, to identify you based just on your face. Mr. Cluley’s blog has some photos of the steps involved, as well as additional details,  that are very helpful.

By changing that setting, you’ll have some greater control over tagging of your photos.