When you are being tagged in a photo, the tag not only reveals that you are in the photo, it also links to your Facebook profile and, if done well, is positioned across your face. This means everyone who has access to the photo can see who you are and learn more about you via your profile. This can be fun, but it also raises privacy concerns.
This article provides an overview of who can tag what and how you can control tags to guard your privacy. The issues with Facebook tagging are summarized in this opinion article - Facebook Really Needs More Sophisticated Privacy Controls. Facebook offers a comprehensive Tagging Guide that explains all options in detail.
1. You Can Tag Anyone’s Photos & Vice Versa
Tags can help adding depth and information to photos. For example you can tag the people who are in a photo or you can add a comment or even share where the photo was taken by adding a place tag. Not only can you tag your own photos, you can also tag the photos of others. Depending on their privacy settings, the tag will be published automatically or go into review. In any case, your name will be associated with the tag you added.
To add a tag, open the photo, hover with your mouse over it, and click the Tag Photo option at the bottom. Then click into the image and start typing. Your friends’ names will come up first and with a little delay pages will appear in the list. Select the desired item or hit enter to add what you typed as a tag. When you are finished, click Done Tagging at the bottom.
Note that if you tag friends, they will receive a notification and your photo will be shown on their wall, unless they disabled this feature. When you tag people who are not your friends (and vice versa), they will be asked to review the tag.
2. Anyone Can Tag You In Photos
Likewise, anyone can tag you in their photos. When friends tag you, the default setting is that the tag is added and published automatically, without you having the option to review it first. The photo will also appear on your wall and depending on your privacy settings, people will be able to see it.
To control what happens when you or your content are tagged, go to your Privacy Settings and click Edit Settings next to Timeline and Tagging. Here you can turn on Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your timeline and Review tags friends add to your own posts on Facebook. This means that whenever your name is added to a photo or whenever a friend tags your photos, you will be asked to review the tag and can decide to approve or deny it.
Moreover, you can control Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded. This is key because Facebook has a powerful face recognition software that will recognize you in new photos based on old photos your face was tagged in. If you do not ever want to be tagged automatically, set this to no one.
By the way, you can avoid the face recognition altogether by asking your friends never to tag your face. Instead they can tag you above your head or on your body.
3. You Can Remove Your Tags Anywhere
You can remove all tags from your own photos and you can remove your own tag when people tagged their photos with your tag. To remove a tag you created, simply open the photo in question, hover over the tag you created in the list of tags on the right, and select Remove tag.
To remove your tag (name) from a photo, open the respective photo, hover over it with the mouse, click Options at the bottom, and select Report/Remove Tag. Check the option to remove the tag created by your friend and click Continue. On the following page you can ask to have the tag removed, the photo taken down, or you can even block your friend. Read through the options carefully before making a decision.
While being tagged in photos comes with privacy concerns, it can also make things easier for you. For example you can Download All Facebook Photos With Your Tag or you can Tag Your Friends in Several Cool Ways.
For more tips and tricks around your Facebook privacy, download our Very Unofficial Guide or have a look at this shorter articles ROUNDUP: 5 Must-Know Critical Facebook Privacy Tips.
What do you think about the privacy options regarding photo tagging?