Picasa 3 face detection rudeness

I upgraded to Picasa 3 recently and was shocked to discover it’s Face Detection functionality crawling through my photos and pulling out faces – without my knowledge and without my permission. And I had to struggle to find out how to stop it.

picasa-face-recogThe technology is impressive of course. But I found the whole thing rather invasive and nasty for some reason. Faces are very personal things. And can be especially confronting when Picasa starts pulling out faces that were disturbing like the one to the right (which as it turned out came out of a photo of a collection of art posters).

I had to Google how to turn the option off (it was under a tab called Name Tags for some reason), and I still have not managed to remove the People album altogether or find out how to remove the thumbnails that Picasa has generated. Boo to all that.

There is a fine line between useful automated functionality and disturbing invasive unwanted sticky-beaking. I think Picasa has just crossed this line for me. I don’t like it when software starts meddling with personal files without permission, especially when said software also has hooks to the web for “easy publishing”.

I think it is time for Picasa to go. And maybe I will review Google desktop search as well. What shenanigans could that piece of software up to without my knowledge?


  1. Bernie said:

    On the other hand, this feature can be useful to law enforcement folks if they have to sieve through lots of images, looking for faces. Just an opinion :)

  2. Zern said:

    Absolutely Bernie. Powerful technology it is without a doubt.

    But I don’t want it sifting through my photos without my permission. Just like I don’t want surveillance cameras in my own home. Even when I am the only person looking at the surveillance recordings.

  3. Francesca Webb said:

    I use both Picassa and Flickr for sharing photos over the internet but i use Flickr more often than Picassa.’-:

  4. Les, said:

    I agree.

    New computer, new download of picasa, and shock horror, all these faces! Really creepy. I certainly hope my young grandaughters don’t end up on the web somewhere!

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