If Facial Recognition Creeps You Out, What You Can Do About It

Friday, August 24, 2012

Theresa Payton


Not sure if you saw the news but Facebook recently announced that they are buying Face.com.  Facebook already uses their technology but now they can take facial recognition to a whole new level.

Let us explain the fun and the dangers of facial recognition and some tips you can use to protect yourself.

Facebook has one of the largest photo databases in the world now as people post, upload, and share photos of everything to their dog, cat, vacation spot, and family reunions. 

Today, Facebook tries to determine if the photos belong to Facebook users.  It sounds innocent enough, you upload a picture and the system helpfully suggests who it is. 

But  cyber expert Theresa Payton says while the productivity is fun, she is concerned for your security and privacy.


1.  Security and Privacy Concerns:  Facebook’s software isn’t just about placing a name with a face.  If you think about how people use the like button, connect to groups, connect to each other, a tagged photo gives additional context.  Hackers would love to have this information about you.

2.   Turning it “off”:  You cannot stop Facebook’s facial recognition software.  It’s just there.  However, you can tune the settings so Facebook will not suggest you to your friends and you can make the system ask your permission before tagging you in a photo.

Go to “privacy settings”

  • Choose “Timeline and tagging” and choose “edit settings”
  • Where the option says, “Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?” to “No one”.

Don’t forget, when it comes to Facebook and many other social media platforms, you typically have to “opt out” of their policy to be wide open with your information.

Cross-posted from Fortalice

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Post Rating I Like this!
Michael Johnson We should be very concerned about this, as putting a name to a photograph could provide the missing link in a social engineering effort. So it follows that the key is to prevent this link being made. If your profile isn't associated with a series of images, it's not such a big deal.
The only real way of doing this is not to register with FaceBook (or Google+) using your real name. Do it under a pseudonym. I kind of got suspicious about two years ago, when FaceBook removed the option of preventing others tagging photos with our names.
Another option, which may or may not be effective, is to get others to upload random images (of anything vaguely human-like), and tag you in them.
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