Back in 2010, Facebook announced the implementation of facial recognition technology to help its users identify their friends in uploaded photos. The idea was for better tagging of those pictures, but what it really did was stir up outrage at yet another move by the social network to connect us to other people's activity without our consent.
Facebook tweaked it repeatedly, but finally yanked it last year. And now it's back. Facebook announced the return of its facial recognition feature and, of course, you're automatically opted in unless you change your settings to block it.
What's the downside? Once tagged, anyone searching for your name could see those pictures your friends posted, depending on your friend's privacy settings. Do you really want work colleagues and acquaintances seeing you on the beach in a bikini? Drinking at a college party? With your 1980's perm in full bloom?
If you don't want to be tagged at all in photos, here are the steps to prevent it.
- On your Facebook page, click on the gear symbol in the upper right corner. On the drop down menu that appears, choose Privacy Settings.
- In the left hand column, choose Timeline and Tagging.
- Under the the "How can I manage tags people add and tagging suggestions" subheader look for the "Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?"
- Click on the EDIT button next to that last section and change the option to "No one."
While you are in there, check to make sure you know who can see your timeline (we recommend setting it to "Friends" or "Friends of friends"), who can add posts to your timeline and who can tag you in their posts. Also, don't forget to check on the new privacy features Facebook rolled out in December that make it easier for you to manage your settings.