Security outfit Sophos has warned Facebook users to change their security settings after the social notworking site introduced face identification software. Facebook revealed last year it was introducing facial recognition technology to encourage users to tag each other in photographs, but the functionality was initially only available in North America and was disabled elsewhere.
In the last few days, Facebook users around the world have reported that the option has been enabled without any notice by the website. Much to the annoyance of many Facebook users, the site provides no way for users to pre-approve photos they are tagged in. Instead users must untag themselves manually after they have been tagged.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos said that many feel uncomfortable about a site like Facebook learning what they look like, and using that information without their permission. He said: "Most Facebook users still don't know how to set their privacy options safely, finding the whole system confusing. It's even harder though to keep control when Facebook changes the settings without your knowledge. Facebook users should have to 'opt-in' to the facial recognition feature, rather than the onus being on them to 'opt-out'."
Facebook users can control the new feature by disabling "Suggest photos of me to friends" in their privacy settings.