Facebook has once again decided that it will turn on a feature without telling anyone and just let everything be ‘business as usual’. This time it’s the facial recognition feature for photo tagging that is on by default. Some folks are creeped out by this (Google has said it isn’t going to use it’s own version, at least not now) but, let’s face it, Facebook could care less.
This capability has been available to some Facebook users since December but now it’s the default setting for everyone across the board. That will get some folks upset but only the small (as a percentage of overall users) subset of users that actually pays attention to this. Zuck and friends depend on this disproportionate uproar dying quickly and they know it doesn’t really impact the overall business (although we act like it absolutely will).
According to Sophos.com’s Naked Security
When Facebook revealed last year it was introducing facial recognition technology to help users tag their friends in photographs, they gave the functionality to North American users only.
Most of the rest of us found the option in our privacy settings was “not yet available”, which meant we could neither enable or disable it. We simply had to wait until Facebook decided to roll it out to our account.
Well, now might be a good time to check your Facebook privacy settings as many Facebook users are reporting that the site has enabled the option in the last few days without giving users any notice.
Not a stunner really. If you don’t ‘like’ this here are the steps to turn it off.
- 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”.
- If Facebook has enabled auto-suggestion of photo tags you will find the option says “Enabled”.
Change it to “Disabled” if you don’t want Facebook to work that way.
- Press “OK”.
We’ll keep telling you about these Facebook ‘updates’ but to yammer on and on about how Facebook should be more private by default etc. etc is a colossal waste of time. Face it, Facebook doesn’t care and that’s their prerogative. The only vote that you as an individual user has is to simply stop using the service. Facebook knows that the likelihood of that happening en masse is very, very slim.
At this point in time, the only way that Facebook could actually chase people away is if they had a major breach and sensitive information about users was compromised. As far as what policies they enact, the truth of the matter is that beyond the vocal front line industry cries of ‘Foul play’, no one gives a rip.
I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it. Facebook banks on their users apathy towards what Facebook is actually doing with their data. They know that people just want to do what they do on Facebook and not worry about the details.
Why do you think the online reputation business is growing like it is? Is it because people are paying attention and are smart about their online activities? Don’t be a weiner!