Facebook, continuing not to learn from past missteps regarding user privacy, turned on auto photo-tagging for most of their user base without bothering to tell anyone.
"We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them. Tag Suggestions are now available in most countries and we'll post further updates to our blog over time."
As far as I can tell, the feature is still opt-out rather than opt-in.
The folks over at lifehacker put together a short video showing people how to turn this feature off. However, all this does is stop Facebook suggesting tags for photos.
It doesn't stop Facebook building up a pretty darn good idea of what you look like if anyone else tags you. This has been the case ever since they introduced tagging for photos, but the fact that they're actively pushing users to tag their friends is a little off-putting.
Of course, now that everybody's taking pictures with their smartphones and uploading them directly to Facebook, the metadata available in these files may also be of value. to them.
"Facebook - looking more like the evidence gathering wing of the thought police every day.
It may be done with entertainment in mind but the implications are often not thought through, nor their long term ramifications considered by the increasingly young users of the service."Polymorph, on the Guardian website
- In the meantime Google, that other great harvester of personal information, waits in the long grass.