"f" LogoFacebook has announced an update to their data use policy (summary here), which is scheduled to be effective on 5 September 2013. In addition to a number of language changes and clarifications, the updated policy states that by default, Facebook may use your profile picture with facial recognition technology to identify you for tagging in photos uploaded to Facebook.

How we use the information we receive

  • emphasize that by using our services, you grant us permission to use the information we receive to operate Facebook.
  • add an example to underscore that we may share information with service providers when they help us provide services.
  • reiterate that public information may be accessed by anyone on or off Facebook.
  • explain that we will use profile pictures to suggest tags of you in photos. The photo tag suggest feature is not enabled for all users in all jurisdictions. If you reside in a place where the feature isn’t enabled, you won’t be suggested to others based on the photo tag suggest feature (although you may see suggestions of others because they reside in a place where the feature is enabled, like the United States).

 

If you are uncomfortable with this use of your profile picture, consider these three steps:

  1. You can disable Facebook’s use of facial recognition to tag you in photos uploaded by others. You can easily reach this setting through AVG PrivacyFix. Note: If you live in the European Union, Facebook is not permitted to use facial recognition in your account so this change should not affect you.
  2. You can require prior approval before you can be tagged in any particular photo. This setting is available through AVG PrivacyFix.
  3. You can select a new profile picture that does not include or obscures facial features that may be used to identify you.