Social Media

How to disable Facebook facial recognition

Mark Zuckerberg face tagged
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Facebook has quietly rolled out its new Tag Suggestions feature to most countries over the past few days. Tag Suggestions uses facial recognition technology to auto-suggest names of Facebook friends to tag in photos, something which has alarmed many Facebook users and security firms. Luckily, however, this feature can be easily disabled.

While this technology will undoubtedly aid Facebook as a network, helping to auto-tag some of the 2.5 billion photos uploaded each month by its users, security firms like Sophos are unhappy that this feature is enabled by default,

“Unfortunately, once again, Facebook seems to be sharing personal information by default. Many people feel distinctly uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission.

“Yet again, it feels like Facebook is eroding the online privacy of its users by stealth.”

How to disable Facebook facial recognition

If you’re uncomfortable with Facebook using facial recognition technology to identify you in photos and automatically suggesting these to your friends to tag, you can disable this easily in your Facebook privacy settings.

1. Log in to Facebook and click on Account > Privacy Settings

1. Log in to Facebook and click on Account > Privacy Settings

2. Click on Customise settings

2. Click on Customise settings

3. Scroll down to where it reads Suggest photos of me to friends and click Edit settings

3. Scroll down to where it reads Suggest photos of me to friends and click Edit settings

4. In the drop-down menu on the right select Disabled and click OK. That’s it!

4. In the drop-down menu on the right select Disabled and click OK. That’s it!

All you have to do now is Like The Sociable on Facebook!

14 Comments

  1. Don’t you think it’s funny our government can’t even obtain this kind of information about it’s citizens without a court order, but facebook and other social networking site have been given the latitude? Why not, for the government it’ll be like going to the library and avoid dealing with the ACLU, Lawsuits, etc., Wait is this the facebook that has like buttons all over the web and can track your whereabouts? Not the same facebook that bowed to china, and doesn’t allow it’s chinese users to talk about politics and religion is it? OnlyMeWorld.com the new alternative to facebook. No Real Names, No Email!

  2. Don’t you think it’s funny our government can’t even obtain this kind of information about it’s citizens without a court order, but facebook and other social networking site have been given the latitude? Why not, for the government it’ll be like going to the library and avoid dealing with the ACLU, Lawsuits, etc., Wait is this the facebook that has like buttons all over the web and can track your whereabouts? Not the same facebook that bowed to china, and doesn’t allow it’s chinese users to talk about politics and religion is it? OnlyMeWorld.com the new alternative to facebook. No Real Names, No Email!

    1. @onlymeworld.llc Facebook is an “opt-in” social network that offers facial recognition technology to facilitate photo tagging and easy retrieval of shared experience among friends. This is complimentary to its service and can be disabled if desired. I think if the government (presumably US) introduced such technology it certainly wouldn’t be “opt-in”. Regarding Facebook, if users don’t agree with the actions or parts of the free service offered by Facebook they can always cancel their account. Facebook thrives on real connections with people that know each other. I’m not convinced that a Facebook alternative without real credentials or personal associations would be very successful, at least not to the same extent.

      1. @darrenmccarra @onlymeworld.llc Whether you and many other facebook users are prepared to face the realities of phishing, identity theft, cyber crimes, etc., the reality is that these “Real Credential” and “Information”, can and will be used against you and most facebook users. It’s not only facebook, but any site that has your Name, Email, Date of Birth, etc., is a threat to anyone using the web today. Regardless of what sites promise for security features today, these cyber criminals are and always will be able to hack there systems, exposing their users to identity theft, etc.,

        I agree with you, that establishing real connections with credentials is important, but it’s a choice of two evils, do I create these connections with real credentials and take the chance of being a victim of a cyber crime, or do I opt to join a site that I can still make these connections without real credentials and have peace of mind. Further, regarding real credentials I see you’re misinformed as to how many people are actually real on facebook and other sites today. Recently, it’s been estimated that between 5 to 8 million users on facebook are under the age of 13. Also, a number of users don’t even put their real photo’s on facebook. Real credentials?

        Most people that are using social networks today, would like a peace of mind when making these connections. What a user chooses to expose about themselves should be a matter of choice, on a case by case basis. No site other then a financial institution or government agency should have the kind of information that’s being currently collected.

        If you’re comfortable with Facebook being able to track you where abouts on the web a good 80% of the time with their like buttons, and your fine with facebook collecting all this information about you that’s your decision. Personally and a vast majority of people today are not! Whether you realize it or not, information and knowledge is power for who ever is the keeper. With all this information, any site along with it’s advertisers could influence and change people thoughts, buying, etc., Heaven forbid if a terrorist organization got ahold of this kind of information.

        There is a bigger picture, with bigger implications then most people are aware of. Atleast with an alternative to Facebook that doesn’t ask for real credentials, it’s users will feel more free to truly be who they are and not worry what anyone thinks, and tell the world why there is “OnlyMeWorld” = )

        1. Vast majority!!!! Lets get real. You are not the vast majority. Nor the people that think as you. 127 Million users are. And thats just the US portion of 500 million FaceBook accounts. Alot of false info and alarmist thinking going on here against a single entity that has alot less info than say ZABA and many other sites . Terrorists using my “Like” hits against me. Absurd. 127 Million other people don’t mind others knowing where we surf. Of course, we aren’t hitting offsite porn hubs either or gambling and what not. 😉 What info I HAVE to share to get a FaceBook account is far less then alot of sites and can be found anywhere. Whats next for you to slam, the Phone Company’s White Pages. You have one agenda, to promote an alternative (Only Me World) where there is a far worse threat IMO. You really don’t know who are you dealing with on such sites. And I bet alot of porn recruiters, child molesters, stalkers, and every other type of sinister person(s) love your site! Lets keep things grounded and present real facts, not alarmist conspiracy oriented woes. FaceBook requires little info already out there on an individual. How far you go in contributing more is on the individual. @onlymeworld.llc @darrenmccarra

  3. This article is so misleading and false in many statements and assumptions. I do not like FaceBook myself but this article comes off like a National Enquirer Headline to stir the masses. The Tag feature uses nothing more than text recognition software thats been around for a generation. It compares what you are writing in the tag with both your friends list and the most used profile names that match it in real time. “Facial Recognition Software” ??? Pleeeeeeese.

    If anything, it gives the person being tagged a heads up their name and photo are being used by a friend and they can remove the tag themselves. As far as names, FaceBokk people already have their name out there in e-public, or the tag software wouldn’t work. Duh. Find some real threats on the internet to expose, Eh? There are plenty out there.

  4. This article is so misleading and false in many statements and assumptions. I do not like FaceBook myself but this article comes off like a National Enquirer Headline to stir the masses. The Tag feature uses nothing more than text recognition software thats been around for a generation. It compares what you are writing in the tag with both your friends list and the most used profile names that match it in real time. “Facial Recognition Software” ??? Pleeeeeeese.

    If anything, it gives the person being tagged a heads up their name and photo are being used by a friend and they can remove the tag themselves. As far as names, FaceBokk people already have their name out there in e-public, or the tag software wouldn’t work. Duh. Find some real threats on the internet to expose, Eh? There are plenty out there.

    1. @DeaconJohn I have to disagree. Facebook are specifically using facial recognition technology in conjunction with the methods you described above in “most countries”. They state in a blog post announcing Tag Suggestions that “we use face recognition software—similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in”. I have also mentioned the ironic increase in levels of privacy introduced with facial recognition is a previous post – http://sociable.co/2010/12/16/facebook-gets-face-detection-with-new-photo-tag-suggestions/. I think Facebook privacy concerns are overstated sometimes, but they are not totally ungrounded.

  5. @DeaconJohn I have to disagree. Facebook are specifically using facial recognition technology in conjunction with the methods you described above in “most countries”. They state in a blog post announcing Tag Suggestions that “we use face recognition software—similar to that found in many photo editing tools—to match your new photos to other photos you’re tagged in”. I have also mentioned the ironic increase in levels of privacy introduced with facial recognition is a previous post – http://sociable.co/2010/12/16/facebook-gets-face-detection-with-new-photo-tag-suggestions/. I think Facebook privacy concerns are overstated sometimes, but they are not totally ungrounded.

  6. @onlymeworld.llc Facebook is an “opt-in” social network that offers facial recognition technology to facilitate photo tagging and easy retrieval of shared experience among friends. This is complimentary to its service and can be disabled if desired. I think if the government (presumably US) introduced such technology it certainly wouldn’t be “opt-in”. Regarding Facebook, if users don’t agree with the actions or parts of the free service offered by Facebook they can always cancel their account. Facebook thrives on real connections with people that know each other. I’m not convinced that a Facebook alternative without real credentials or personal associations would be very successful, at least not to the same extent.

  7. To me whats so absurd is people whine about a business that has from the beginning said it pays for the enormous cost of running such a network and make a profit by being paid for information “mined” It’s never been a secret. Users have a choice, and decide if they want to use a totally free network in exchange for info. Funny thing is it is always the ones who think everything in the world should be given to them for free including the internet who gripe. It’s a private business entity and should be allowed to barter for services just as any business. Let’s see…. Why don’t we get the Government to next mandate that Burger King gives us more fires for our $1.49. Or force Sam’s Club to allow all to buy at discount without collecting membership fee’s. Or force FaceBook to allow people who want a service without paying what everyone else does. As an operator of several large forums and websites, I can safely say the internet is NOT free. You have choices. Don’t want your info used in this manner, don’t use the service. I am tired of people thinking it’s a free ride here and making the government intervene and further regulate a medium that was started to be free of all that. FaceBook/other networking/Forums/and other electronic services aren’t forcing anything down the public’s throat. You have choices. Make them without whining your special and shouldn’t have to help in exchange for being part of a network,

  8. To me whats so absurd is people whine about a business that has from the beginning said it pays for the enormous cost of running such a network and make a profit by being paid for information “mined” It’s never been a secret. Users have a choice, and decide if they want to use a totally free network in exchange for info. Funny thing is it is always the ones who think everything in the world should be given to them for free including the internet who gripe. It’s a private business entity and should be allowed to barter for services just as any business. Let’s see…. Why don’t we get the Government to next mandate that Burger King gives us more fires for our $1.49. Or force Sam’s Club to allow all to buy at discount without collecting membership fee’s. Or force FaceBook to allow people who want a service without paying what everyone else does. As an operator of several large forums and websites, I can safely say the internet is NOT free. You have choices. Don’t want your info used in this manner, don’t use the service. I am tired of people thinking it’s a free ride here and making the government intervene and further regulate a medium that was started to be free of all that. FaceBook/other networking/Forums/and other electronic services aren’t forcing anything down the public’s throat. You have choices. Make them without whining your special and shouldn’t have to help in exchange for being part of a network,

  9. @darrenmccarra @onlymeworld.llc Whether you and many other facebook users are prepared to face the realities of phishing, identity theft, cyber crimes, etc., the reality is that these “Real Credential” and “Information”, can and will be used against you and most facebook users. It’s not only facebook, but any site that has your Name, Email, Date of Birth, etc., is a threat to anyone using the web today. Regardless of what sites promise for security features today, these cyber criminals are and always will be able to hack there systems, exposing their users to identity theft, etc.,

    I agree with you, that establishing real connections with credentials is important, but it’s a choice of two evils, do I create these connections with real credentials and take the chance of being a victim of a cyber crime, or do I opt to join a site that I can still make these connections without real credentials and have peace of mind. Further, regarding real credentials I see you’re misinformed as to how many people are actually real on facebook and other sites today. Recently, it’s been estimated that between 5 to 8 million users on facebook are under the age of 13. Also, a number of users don’t even put their real photo’s on facebook. Real credentials?

    Most people that are using social networks today, would like a peace of mind when making these connections. What a user chooses to expose about themselves should be a matter of choice, on a case by case basis. No site other then a financial institution or government agency should have the kind of information that’s being currently collected.

    If you’re comfortable with Facebook being able to track you where abouts on the web a good 80% of the time with their like buttons, and your fine with facebook collecting all this information about you that’s your decision. Personally and a vast majority of people today are not! Whether you realize it or not, information and knowledge is power for who ever is the keeper. With all this information, any site along with it’s advertisers could influence and change people thoughts, buying, etc., Heaven forbid if a terrorist organization got ahold of this kind of information.

    There is a bigger picture, with bigger implications then most people are aware of. Atleast with an alternative to Facebook that doesn’t ask for real credentials, it’s users will feel more free to truly be who they are and not worry what anyone thinks, and tell the world why there is “OnlyMeWorld” = )

  10. Vast majority!!!! Lets get real. You are not the vast majority. Nor the people that think as you. 127 Million users are. And thats just the US portion of 500 million FaceBook accounts. Alot of false info and alarmist thinking going on here against a single entity that has alot less info than say ZABA and many other sites . Terrorists using my “Like” hits against me. Absurd. 127 Million other people don’t mind others knowing where we surf. Of course, we aren’t hitting offsite porn hubs either or gambling and what not. 😉 What info I HAVE to share to get a FaceBook account is far less then alot of sites and can be found anywhere. Whats next for you to slam, the Phone Company’s White Pages. You have one agenda, to promote an alternative (Only Me World) where there is a far worse threat IMO. You really don’t know who are you dealing with on such sites. And I bet alot of porn recruiters, child molesters, stalkers, and every other type of sinister person(s) love your site! Lets keep things grounded and present real facts, not alarmist conspiracy oriented woes. FaceBook requires little info already out there on an individual. How far you go in contributing more is on the individual. @onlymeworld.llc @darrenmccarra

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.