This article was published on December 16, 2011

Privacy check – Facebook settings say photo and location tags are the same

Privacy check – Facebook settings say photo and location tags are the same

We have some great readers here at The Next Web. One reader, Koen, alerted us to something that had us completely baffled. With today’s launch of Timeline for your Facebook profile, the fact that any of your friends can now change the location on your photos went missing.

Is that a feature or a bug? I can’t for the life of me figure out why I’d want to let anyone tag my photo with a location. Furthermore, this is just asking to be misused, and it took me a half hour to find the privacy setting that shuts it off. For a while, I thought it was the “check-in” feature that allows your friends to check you into certain places with them.


Worst feature ever

While playing around with this “feature”, I became enraged to watch our own Brad McCarty change the location on two of my profile pictures.

Check it out:

I don’t ever remember allowing this feature to be turned on, nor can I understand why I’d want this feature at all. Brad wasn’t tagged in this photo, nor did he comment on it or like it. He just waltzed in and changed the location for all to see.

I figured I’d take this fun prank for a spin and change Matthew Panzarino’s profile picture location:

Want to turn it off? Change this mislabeled setting:

One thing with this setting though, it doesn’t allow your friends to tag your photos at all, even though it promises to give you a tag review notification. Where’s the granularity, Facebook? I don’t mind if someone tags themselves in a photo of mine, but location isn’t something I’m willing to trust anyone with.

You’d think that after all of the privacy hoopla Facebook has gone through with the FTC, they’d have these kinds of things sorted out, especially when rolling out a network-wide feature like Timeline.

Seems like a mistake on Facebook’s part to me, but maybe I missed something. If this catches on, it’ll take one hour for a drunk friend of mine to change the location on all of my pictures, and even more time to change them all back.

Thanks, Facebook. I think.

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