There are a variety of reasons why you may be concerned about the Facebook facial recognition feature and database.
Maybe you just don’t want every single photo of you to be tagged. Who knows what your Facebook friends will upload and what kind of people they’ll allow to see their pictures?
Maybe your concern is deeper; you just don’t want to be a part of Facebook’s massive facial recognition database. That database can be accessed in a variety of ways, including hacking, subpoenas, or the infiltration of Facebook networks (i.e. fake accounts created for the purpose of friending users and accessing their Facebook information).
Below are four tips to protect yourself from the Facebook facial recognition system.
1. Disable the Facebook facial recognition auto-suggest function for photo tagging.
Go to Account (upper right corner of homepage) - Privacy Settings - Custom settings (bottom middle) - Suggest photos of me to friends - Enabled/Disabled (check Disabled)
2. Vigilantly monitor your notifications about being tagged in photos so you can be in control of this data.
3. Upload pictures of celebrities or other people and tag them as yourself. The point is to pollute Facebook’s facial recognition database of you so that its ability to identify you is weakened.
Remember, even if you disable the auto-suggest feature for photo tagging, the facial recognition data itself still exists in Facebook’s database. Therefore, there is still the risk that it can be accessed through hacking or a subpoena.
4. Request Facebook to remove your summary information from its facial recognition database (hat tip to PCWorld).
Login to Facebook - Click on this link - Click the contact us hyperlink (In the sentence You can contact us to request that we remove all of your photo summary information) - send Facebook the automated message that pops up in the box
Doing so essentially wipes out the information Facebook’s facial recognition database has on you, so it’s a move in the right direction. However, there are still tons of photos tagged with your name. Therefore, you still run the risk of having the government force Facebook to mine that data, build a fresh database on you, and then identify you. It’s also conceivable that a highly-skilled hacker or rogue Facebook employee can accomplish this feat.