In The News - Facebook's face recognition technology (and how to turn it off)
Facebook has recently rolled out a new feature which means that if you're a member of this very popular social networking website you could find yourself being "tagged" in a lot more photos from now on.
The site is starting to use facial recognition technology - meaning it can recognise your face in photos - and in a controversial move, it's not letting people know about it .
This means that when people upload photos, Facebook automatically "reads" them, and can detect whether or not you're in that photo. Your Facebook contacts can then "tag" you, meaning the photo appears on your profile page and is linked to your account. Facebook have posted an informative official blog entry saying that this makes things more convenient for its users but many have criticised the company, saying it raises concerns around privacy.
If you're worried about this and wish to turn the feature off, here's how to do it:
- On the top right hand side of your Facebook homepage (when logged in) click the small down-pointing arrow and then "Privacy Settings".
- Next to where it says "How tags work", click on the small blue text link named "Edit settings".
- A window will pop up, click the word "Friends" next to the words "Tag suggestions - when friends upload photos that look like you"
- Another box will pop up on your screen, with photos of your friends. Under this,you'll see "Who sees tag suggestions when pictures that look like me are uploaded", and the grey button next to it which says "Friends"
- Click on this button, select "No one" and close the box by clicking "OK".
You can find out more on the following (non-BBC) websites:
- The Register - Facebook quietly switches on facial recognition tech
- Wired.co.uk - Facebook silently rolls out face recognition technology to the world
- Reuters - Facebook facial recognition technology sparks renewed concerns
- The Telegraph - Facebook facial recognition system criticised
- The Facebook Blog - Making photo tagging easier
- Mashable - Facebook runs ads to help users turn off facial recognition
BBC News Technology have just covered this story too - you can find their article here.