Facebook rolls out facial recognition for all

Last year Facebook rolled out its facial recognition feature, which allows users to tag their friends in photos based on facial features.

When the feature was first announced, it was limited to North America. This week, it seems like the social networking site launched the feature elsewhere but has yet to alert users of the change.

Graham Cluley of Sophos Security recommends Facebook users take a look at their privacy settings now that the new feature is everywhere.

There are billions of photographs floating around Facebook that could potentially be tagged with your name. Although tagging is done by your friends, the site might urge people to tag your face in pictures you may not want to be tagged in.

If you’d like to prevent your friends from tagging you using facial recognition, you can go ahead and disable the feature in your Facebook privacy settings.

Go into Facebook’s “privacy settings,” click on “customize,” and you should see a section called “things other share.” Click on “edit settings.” If the feature is enabled an “enable” box will be checked. Change the setting to “disabled” and press “OK.”

This issue brings new attention to the “privacy by default” issue amongst Facebook users. Many  believe the social networking site should offer the highest privacy settings as default, with the option to relax them if the user so chooses.

For example, rather than rolling out the facial recognition feature where everyone is susceptible to a tag, supporters of the movement believe it should be a choice to opt into. On the flipside, it does alleviate the need to go through each and every picture tagging the same people over and over again.