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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Software tools that enhance productivity or fun are always in demand. Examples of productivity tools are Dreamweaver, online fax services, Apple’s forthcoming fingerprint sensor, Adobe suite on cloud, etc., and examples of fun apps are, hairstyling software, Facebook phototagging, crossword generators, and so on. The strange thing is that users mostly complain about the productive tools and are least bothered about fun tools, some of which can actually compromise their privacy. The Facebook Photo-tagging feature, which is being viewed as a privacy buster, is now being examined by the FTC [1]. It seems that photo tagging, helped by Facebook’s privacy policy, has the potential to violate the user’s personal data.

Why Is Facial Recognition Scary?

Modern cameras embed latitude and longitude data on each photo and photo tagging helps identify a person. When these features are combined, it's easy to see that any tech-savvy stalker or a predator who knows a techie can easily get to know a person, his friends and relations, along with his location.
Facebook is also making changes to its privacy policies, and one of the changes reads:
“If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to the terms of this section (and the use of your name, profile picture, content, and information) on your behalf.”
The terms that follow allow Facebook to use users’ name, profile picture and content in its marketing.
Thousands of teens lie about their age while signing up, without realizing the potential danger it can cause. This is the reason why the FTC has gotten into the act. Many social and privacy groups are of the opinion that Facebook is creating software tools that no one needs, but users don’t seem to care. Facebook is like an addiction for many users, who don’t seem to be concerned about their privacy.
Here’s one more danger that people don’t realize. Some high-end celebrity stores use facial recognition technology to identify celeb shoppers. If face recognition technology gets cheaper, every retail store will start using it. If Facebook allows them to tap into their picture database (on payment of a fee), then any Facebook user’s details can be captured by such stores the minute they walk in. Forcing the visitor to recieve more unwanted marketing messages.

How Can I Ensure That People Don’t See Tag Suggestions?

Here’s what you can do to help protect your privacy:
1.   Go to the top-right of the Facebook screen and locate the gear icon.
2.   Choose “Privacy Settings” from the drop down.
3.   Now view the navigation on the left and select “Timeline and Tagging.”
4.   Go to “Who Sees Tag Suggestions When Photos That Look Like You Are Uploaded.”
5.   Choose Edit (on the right).
6.   You will see two selection options – “Friends” and “No One.”
7.   Select “No One.”
That’s how you turn off the photo tagging feature. Just to be on the safe side, keep reviewing any change in Facebook’s privacy policy. Good luck and stay safe!
Author Bio:
Raised in Farmers Branch, TX, Brian A. Powell is a freelance mobile app developer that uses paperless office services like Maxemail for expeidence, convenience and the reduced need for natural resources like paper and plastic.

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