Facebook's facial recognition feature wants to know more about you

We've learned a lot in recent months about how our privacy on social media and on our smart phones has been compromised. So, let's take a fresh look at a few things we can do to batten down the hatches.

First, let me say that some of the ways we use Facebook to make it more convenient are ways the social media giant uses to dip into your personal life. Let's start with location settings.  

When you check in, your location is captured. When you let your phone search for wifi your location is captured. And, it's also captured when you enable the feature "nearby friends" as well as when you let apps monitor your location.

What's the big deal? Well it brings a bunch of puzzle pieces together to create a picture of you and your habits. It's info that goes to a variety of places, including to advertisers. You can opt out of most of this stuff. Don't check in. Cut off that automatic wifi search. Turn off the "nearby friends" feature. But here's where it's trickier - location settings.

For iPhone users, you had a choice for each individual app to decide if you want it to track you. You can choose never, while using the app or always track you. But Android users didn't have those options. It's been a straight 'yes, track me' or 'no.' That's changing. A new feature will be coming soon to allow you the same option. Want more privacy? Limit access.  

Now, let's talk about face recognition. Facebook creates a template for your face so that you can be identified. It lets you easily tag other people. It's supposed to keep strangers from using your picture without your OK. And it can let you know if you appear in a picture or video that you didn't know about.

But, Facebook has a brand new patent, and others pending, that will allow them, according to Consumer Reports, to use that facial recognition technology to identify people in stores and to gauge emotions when shopping online.

So, here's how you can cut facial recognition off. On your Facebook page, go to the question mark in the top right corner of the page then to 'privacy short cuts.' Once there, go to 'control face recongnition.' Simple.