There was a noticeable spike in my news feed this week on Facebook’s quiet implementation of facial recognition technology to keep track of where you show up in photos across the social network. I read three separate articles with instructions on how to opt-out, but both Lifehacker and Inside Facebook fell short of explaining the fact that changing your privacy settings ONLY turns off the tagging suggestions to your friends. It WON’T get rid of your biometric database that Facebook keeps inside its secret vault. To do that, you have to actually write to Facebook and request that they purge it (hat tip to PC World for explaining). From what I heard, they seem to respond quite quickly to these requests, but there is no proof of confirmation other than their kindly word. Luckily paranoia can lead to creativity, and someone out there suggested another way to avoid a robotic facial scan, explained by our friend Mr. T below.
Also interesting, many people don’t care. That’s fine, but usually the ones who don’t aren’t the people who risk their lives for social change, so here’s a short primer on why it matters.