Disable Facebook Places From Letting Others Tag Your Location

“Facebook Places” is a new Facebook feature with Foursquare check-in-like functionality, but by default it lets other people tag you as being at a location without requiring your consent even if you’re not there. This could lead to friends tagging you as being inside a peepshow, or an ex-girlfriend tagging you as being with another girl so your new girlfriend gets pissed off. The sitcom storyline possibilities are endless! Here’s how to turn it off:

1. Go to privacy settings
2. Go to “customize”
3. Scroll to “things others share”
4. Disable “friends can check me into places.”

UPDATE: Facebook’s PR sent this clarification with more specifics about how the privacy settings work:

Every person on Facebook must agree before they check in or can be checked in to a place. Before you have agreed and someone tries to tag you, you are not associated with any location. In addition, the story your friend tagged you in does not show up on your profile until you have agreed to allow it. Also, the message that lets you know a friend would like to check you in includes a link to Learn More, which explains how to stop getting these messages. Finally, there are many protections built into the system–only confirmed friends can try to check you in, to tag you a friend must also check themselves in, you are notified every time someone tries to check you in, you can easily remove any tag, and you can turn off tagging altogether.

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  1. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Yup, more privacy issues. Just what we need from Facebook.

    • grucifer says:

      Doesn’t sound like an issue to me seeing that you can disable it

      • Pax says:

        It _is_ an issue, because “disabled” should be the DEFAULT setting.

        • grucifer says:

          Really, people are going to cry about that?

          • AstroPig7 says:

            You’re new here, aren’t you?

            • grucifer says:

              Not too new, no. Still anyone with any sort of personal information out on the Internet ought to pay attention to new features that may effect the privacy of the info they share. Seems pretty obvious to me. I never gave a shit before when people were crying about facebook because *gasp* I check my security settings and made sure shit was on Private or Friends-Only.

              Maybe thats too hard for most of you.

              • womynist says:

                It’s not that it’s “too hard” for many of us, the point is that FB does NOT alert anyone to these changes, and the default settings are to share everything–which is stupid.

              • AstroPig7 says:

                This was an unannounced change and was enabled by default for many accounts. Also, it allows your friends to check you in at a place, whether or not you’re actually there. Even if you’re careful with your information, your friends might not be.

                • ktetch says:

                  Unannounced? Really?

                  I knew about it. Why? because I watched the live-streaming webcast of the announcement last night, telling me about it, before it went live. Where did I found out about the webcast? on facebook!

                  Some people….

                  • RandomHookup says:

                    There’s a difference between announcing to the press (and those interested) and telling your consumers that you’ve made a change. An individual email or notice would be a better practice for a consumer brand. This is more like BoA announcing new ATM fees through a press conference, but not bothering to notify any of the customers directly.

                  • Dunkelzahn says:

                    Not everybody is so hard up on Facebook that they actually watch those things. Some people don’t have time… what with their late night jobs, crying children, etc. to watch a webcast about another lame anti-privacy problem on Facebook.

                  • Pax says:

                    I’m on Facebook several times a day, in between doing other things. (Hey, I’m sitting at a computer, with a web-browser open; why not check in every so often and see if a friend has said somethign interesting?)

                    And no, I never, not once, got any sort of notice. Facebook never said a THING to me. Perhaps because I don’t have, need, or want an iPhone …?

              • dangerp says:

                It is reasonable to go through and change your security and privacy settings when you sign up for a service. It is unreasonable to have to constantly (weekly, it seems), pore over all of the privacy settings to see if they’ve changed or added anything, especially when the default is always anti-privacy. Even a notice from facebook saying ‘hey, we’re letting other people know where you are, without your prior knowledge’ would at least have been prior warning. But there is absolutely no good reason to sneak this in all ninja style.

              • Rectilinear Propagation says:

                anyone with any sort of personal information out on the Internet

                This isn’t even about the information you’ve made available, this is about preventing other people from giving information about you which may not even be accurate.

                I check my security settings and made sure shit was on Private or Friends-Only.

                Meaning that most if not all of your settings are probably back on Friends of Friends or Everyone by now and anything new they’ve implemented has been left as enabled on your account.

              • Pax says:

                So, I have a Facebook account – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000046122449 – and, this article on the Consumerist is the very first I’ve ever heard of this “feature”. Facebook never told me the feature was even being _thought about_, let alone, was about to go live.

                I would never have known to even LOOK for this feature, if it weren’t for this article.

            • annodyne says:

              +1

          • Pax says:

            Here’s a lesson for you, sweetie: voicing displeasure is not “crying”. It’s … get this … “voicing displeasure”. Nothing more, and nothing less.

      • Polish Engineer says:

        Except for the whole default setting….

        I haven’t logged into Facebook in months, and the only reason I know do this is reading this blog, not any FB notification.

      • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

        It is Enabled by default. Plus, I had no idea this feature was going live tonight until someone forwarded me a website about it earlier today.

        Not only that, but I didn’t even know that this feature existed, let alone that it was going live tonight.

        So, without knowing about it, my settings would have stayed as “enabled.”

        • Aesteval says:

          Is it enabled by default? I just set it in mine and the default option listed “select one.” Personally, I have no idea if being prompted to select one or the other indicates whether it is enabled by default or not.

    • MeowMaximus says:

      Best solution to disabling this “feature” – Quit Facebook and delete your profile!

  2. Consumeristing says:

    I press the “Places” button, and a warning pops up that the feature is not yet available in my region. The region? Los Angeles. How f*cked up is that?

  3. FatLynn says:

    Wait, does everyone have to do this, or just people who use this app?

    • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

      EVERYONE has to do it.

      Sure, you don’t use the app… But you’re out at a TT bar with some friends who do use the app. And they can tag you. Now, since you don’t use the app, you won’t know you were tagged until the next time you were at a computer and logged into Facebook, to find messages from friends saying “How was the TT bar last night?”

      • Julia789 says:

        They can only tag you as being there, if you’ve tagged yourself as being there already. They can’t pretend you are somewhere (although I’m sure someone will find a way.)

        Regardless, I am disabling the feature. I’m paranoid.

    • pop top says:

      Everyone has to do it. It’s a feature on web-based FB.

  4. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Um, even though the photo depicts FB on an iPhone, I don’t think you can access your security preferences from the FB app. I think you have to log into your account from a computer or web browser.

    • Sword_Chucks says:

      I think you can visit the actual site from your phone, at the bottom of the screen takes you away from the mobile/touch version

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Well, yes, you can access it using a browser on your phone. But you can’t use the iPhone’s Facebook app to make settings changes.

    • Danny Boy says:

      Pecan you are correct. I’ve tried it on my iPhone many times to no avail.

    • sleze69 says:

      How is it that this feature of the Facebook app is OK for IPhone but Google Latitude’s native app is not OK?

  5. qbubbles says:

    I just checked and my settings said, “Select One”. It wasnt automatically enabled. Not saying everyone isnt, but mine wasnt.

  6. Marshmelly says:

    I went to check out the settings, and it didn’t seem to be enabled for me (wasn’t disabled either…just didn’t have either option selected, so not sure if that means it was automatically enabled or disabled?) That being said, I enabled it. The only people that will see my location are facebook friends. I also doubt most of the friends I hang out with are tech-savvy enough to want to tag me in their location. If they do, I won’t really care. Its good to know where to go to disable it though.

  7. chiieddy says:

    I recommend sharing the article on Facebook too. Hopefully, this goes viral before places goes live tonight before too many people are burned.

    • brinks says:

      I shared it, but half my friends share they’re every waking move on Four Square. I hope some of my friends appreciate the ability to keep stalkers at bay and not let robbers know when it’s cool to drop by.

      • brinks says:

        *THEIR* every waking move.

        Facebook grammar is rubbing off on me.

      • Blueberry Scone says:

        You, too? I get these notifications in my feed all the time – this person is at Dunkin’ Donuts; this person is at such-and-such dry cleaner.

        What’s the point of telling everyone? Do they think their friends will say “Oh, hey, Tom’s at the Starbucks right by my work – I’ll drop everything and say hi”?

    • Pax says:

      Al;ready done, and one friend re-shared it to her (much MUCH larger) friends list. :)

  8. brinks says:

    As the only remaining person in the world who still logs onto MySpace on occasion, I was greeted with this pleasant message today:

    “Hey there,

    Just a heads up, we’ve made some changes to our privacy settings to make them simpler than ever. Now, instead of having individual privacy settings for your profile, photos, friends, stream and comments, you have one easy choice for your entire profile. Your profile can now be viewable by anyone or only by your friends – it’s up to you.

    Don’t worry – if any of your previous settings were set to Only my Friends, your entire profile is now set to Only my Friends.

    (view your settings)

    Thanks,
    Your friends at myspace”

    Amazing. They actually TELL you that changes have been made instead of automatically changing all your private settings to public and hoping you don’t notice.

    I appreciate the lack of sinister behavior. Too bad no one else cares.

    • Michael Bauser says:

      Except that sounds like a polite announcment about Myspace removing features? You used to be able to control those settings individually, but now it’s all-or-nothng? If I was a Myspace user, I would be more annoyed than thankful.

      • brinks says:

        I was just glad they (a) didn’t make all my settings public and (b) actually told me about it.

        Nothing changed for me. My profile was private anyway. Facebook has made all of my settings public several times and the only notice I got was a story about it on Consumerist.

    • Pax says:

      And even better, they DEFAULTED to the MOST restrictive setting you already had. Nice.

  9. Danny Boy says:

    Thank you…good lookin’ out!!

  10. Muddie says:

    The headline is misleading. It sounds like the article would teach you how to disable being tagged until you consented. What it does it disable you being tagged at all.

    While I find the article beneficial, the headline wording could use some tweaking.

  11. osiris73 says:

    Yeah, um, I can do this via my PC but not via my Android app. In fact, while I can disable it, we don’t actually have the option yet to tag locations.

  12. MedicallyNeedy says:

    This feature is so awesome!
    When we’re on vacation and friend is in the same area, we can get together,
    while a friend’s friend’s friend, just out of jail for B & E,
    knows we’re all away having a good time.

  13. phallusu says:

    i don’t facebook and each article like this says ONE thing – why would i facebook? what are these people thinking to allow such a capability in the first place – for other people to designate where YOU are? can you say liability issues facebook?

    • dvdchris says:

      but this is the case with ANY internet service. Anyone can blog, text others, email, Twitter, or whatever ‘I went to the stripclub last night with ____.’ Not being on facebook will not prevent someone from still doing this.

  14. Willnet says:

    I just deactivated and deleted my account yesterday. I’ve had enough of all this privacy crap.

  15. slugabed says:

    This could be fun for me. I will enjoy checking my friends into more and more improbable places. I will enjoy hanging out with people at the north pole.

  16. dvdchris says:

    I think this is much to do about nothing. Anyone has always been able to ‘tag’ you on either Fb or Twitter by just saying ‘at TT bar with ___ and ___’. There is nothing to prevent people from doing this. Am I wrong?

  17. BillyDeeCT says:

    Best way to solve this is to not sign up for Facebook at all. I refuse to let a company that has little regard for my privacy ever get a hold of any of my info, voluntarily or otherwise.