Facebook finally gets photo privacy message

After years of calls from users for greater control over photos, Facebook has responded as part of its latest privacy tweaks.

Members can now choose whether they want to be tagged in a photo. Anytime a non-friend tries to tag a user, they will be asked by Facebook to confirm or deny that tag.

The same permission option can be switched on for friends too, although by default the authorisation feature will not work. A toggle will need to be switched so friend tags will not automatically appear in people's feeds.

Another option offers users the chance to directly message the tagger asking them to remove photos.

Facebook has also added a tool to make it easier to control who can see posts.

Facebook privacy

Furthermore, once users have posted on the site, they will be able to alter who can see it.

"These changes will start to roll out in the coming days. When they reach you, you'll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage."

Sophos, the security company which has often questioned Facebook's privacy credentials, suggested Mark Zuckerburg's firm could just be reacting to the emergence of Google+.

"Facebook doesn't seem to have addressed the more fundamental privacy issues on the site," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Facebook should become truly opt-in', not just on the basis that a new user opts in by joining Facebook in the first place, but on the basis that features are turned off until users decide to activate them. Facebook should not wait until the regulators start legislating to make it do a better job. If they took the lead, people would love them all the more in the end."

Facebook has also interestingly chosen to ditch the mobile version of Places, as part of location-based changes.

"We are phasing out the mobile-only Places feature. Settings associated with it are also being phased out or removed," the company confirmed. Users will now be able to add location tags to any posts or updates instead.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.