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Facebook lands itself in privacy trouble again with facial recognition tech

Facebook, as popular as it is, does seem to get itself into a whole lot of trouble when it comes to privacy issues. The most famous of which was the Beacon introduction. Beacon was a part of Facebook’s advertisement system that sent data from external websites to Facebook, ostensibly for the purpose of allowing targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends.

Now they’ve launched facial recognition technology to help users tag their friends. All sounds ok, not too traumatic, they can tag you anyway so it’s just making it easier to do so. However as usual Facebook haven’t learnt their lesson, and instead of asking people if they’d like to activate the functionality they have made it opt out so you actively have to tell it you don’t want that functionality.

Facebook has now apologised for the way it rolled-out a new system that recognises users’ faces. The social network said that it should have done more to notify members about the global launch.

If this is something you’re uncomfortable with, disable “Suggest photos of me to friends” now.

Here’s how you do it.

* Go to your Facebook account’s privacy settings.

* Click on “Customise settings”.

* Under “Things others share” you should see an option titled “Suggest photos of me to friends. When photos look like me, suggest my name”.

* Unfortunately at this point you can’t tell whether Facebook has enabled the setting or not, you have to dig deeper..

* Click on “Edit settings”.

Facebook privacy setting

* If Facebook has enabled auto-suggestion of photo tags you will find the option says “Enabled”.

Facebook privacy setting

* Change it to “Disabled” if you don’t want Facebook to work that way.

* Press “OK”.

Disablement advice from Sophos’ Naked Security Blog.

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