I just learned that Google is using its image analysis software to automatically tag me in photos that others upload to Google Plus. Uh, no. How do I stop this?
You’re correct that Google Plus recently announced that its image analysis software is being used to build a model of your face based on your self-identified photos of yourself uploaded to the service, then use that data to analyze photos other people upload and automatically tag you if your face is a match. Slightly freaky, perhaps, but when you hang out with the same group a lot, quite convenient to have everyone tagged in pictures uploaded without any manual intervention.
Before you wipe every photo of yourself off the entire Internet, however, know that you can opt in or out of this service on Google Plus at any time, and that you can also untag yourself in photos if those party pics from last weekend are just too over the top for your employer.
Further, you do know that Facebook does this too, right? Check out this preference from your Facebook account settings:
See that third option? It says Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded? and if you think about it, that means they too have that same facial model that they’re working with based on large scale image analysis.
You asked about Google Plus, however, so let’s look at that. First off, it might be really easy to turn it off because you might have just seen this show up in your newsfeed:
If you see this, click “No, thanks” and you’re good to go.
But let’s say you didn’t see this dialog. Instead, you can find the same option in your account settings. You get to those on Google Plus by clicking on the “Home” button on the left side, which brings down the following menu:
You can see the desired option at the bottom: Settings.
Choose it, then scroll down until you see this:
The last one is what we’re interested in for this discussion: Find my face in photos and videos and prompt people I know to tag me.
Uncheck this and you should be good to go.
While you’re here, though, scroll down just a bit further…
You might want to make sure this is empty to ensure that no pictures in which you’re tagged just show up automatically in your “Photos of you” section of your G+ profile.
Now about those other party pics…