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Facebook’s new default setting is scary, you can change it

June 8, 2011
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Facebook introduces facial recognition

Facebook is like Santa in that it sees you when you’re sleeping, it knows when you’re awake, it knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake. Not literally, but when we tell you what they’ve done, you might feel like it’s that extreme. Quietly, Facebook has introduced facial recognition software to their offering which seems harmless until it suggests to an acquaintance that they tag you in a picture at a conference drinking beer from a giant glass boot.

It’s not actually scary because it’s only among “friends” on Facebook, and the tagging is not automatic as some tech pundits have suggested, rather automates the process of tagging so that friends don’t have to manually tag others, simply acknowledge the facial recognition software option to tag everyone it recognizes (in a yes/no type format). It’s not “scary,” but the idea that Facebook knows your face is a little unsettling given that you put that together with the information you’ve volunteered (age, location, shopping preferences, religion, business, etc.) and you’ve got one heck of a database. It sounds like conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo, but what if a dangerous enemy of the state hacked the network?

You can put a stop to this

Without training on the ins and outs of privacy settings as we have in the past, we’ll simply show you how to alter this single privacy setting so that Facebook does not suggest to people to tag your face (thus separating you by one degree from the facial recognition software).

The Lifehacker video above shows you how to change the settings, or follow the instructions below:

  1. On the top right, click “Account” then “Privacy Settings” then click the link “Customize Settings.”
  2. Scroll to “Suggest Photos of Me to Friends,” and select “Edit Settings.”
  3. On the right, select “Disable” from the drop down menu.

On the flip side, some people (and we find this to often be generational) want to be in every picture possible regardless of content, so if that is your goal or your preference, leave the settings as they are because it is currently the default.

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30 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. very bad move by facebook and very unneccessary.

  3. Maybe I just don't care enough, but I'm like "WE" I chose to put my picture up all over the place, I chose to tell people my whereabouts. I might be eating my word in a few years when things all go to hell but is it really that big a deal.

  4. I am having trouble with my home page on facebook can anyone help me it has issues with the news feed is being in the upper right hand corner plus in the middle, and on the left side my game is not there and when I click on more nothing happens does not show my games please can someone help me out with this issue???????????? :)

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