Facebook announced the completion of the Photo Tagging Auto-Suggestion feature two days ago and it immediately prompted public outcry over privacy issues (perhaps Google had something to do with this… the two online rivals haven’t exactly been playing nice lately). I don’t want to spend too much time on this as I’m sure the subject will get plenty of coverage but it would seem the real privacy issue is with the friends that upload (and tag) a photo of you.

The world has gone digital. Does anyone print photos anymore? In 2010 the last photo lab in the world stopped taking new rolls of Kodachrome film (sorry, Paul Simon). Gee, I hope my Facebook account will still be around long after I’m gone so my great-great-grandchildren can see what I looked like. Without any clear answer how to keep our binary memories safe forever, digital preservationists suggest having multiple copies in multiple places. Ouch! Sounds like I’m gonna need an organizational coach. I wonder if the Sumerians contemplated this dilemma 5,000 years ago.

Photo uploads are one of the most popular features on Facebook and according to Mark Zuckerberg, members add over 100 millions tags to their photos everyday (roughly 2.5 billion photos are uploaded every month). Facebook using facial recognition to auto-tag photos simply saves time. Chances are your pretty mug is already in somebody’s online photo album… photo tagging just makes it easier for you to know where. In fact, when you’re tagged in a photo, Facebook sends you an email (or an on-site notification) letting you know a friend has uploaded a photo of you, giving you the opportunity to ask that friend to remove the photo or at least limit its visibility.

If you’re really uncomfortable having photos of yourself tagged, here is a step-by-step guide on how to disable the Facebook facial recognition feature.