McAfee Tuesday officially announced the launch of a free public beta version of McAfee Social Protection, a new Facebook application and browser plugin that displays users’ Facebook photos as blurs, which can only be displayed properly once users’ friends have installed McAfee Social Protection.

Photos cannot be downloaded, shared, or captured as screen shots, and the app includes facial-recognition software that alerts users if photos are uploaded to the social network that might have those users included but not tagged.

McAfee Social Protection is a collaboration between Intel and McAfee, and the browser plugin is available for Internet Explorer 8 or higher and Firefox 8 and higher.

McAfee Senior Vice President of Consumer Product Management Brian Foster said:

As consumers continue to share more of their lives online through the photos they post to Facebook, they become increasingly vulnerable to the privacy pitfalls associated with not being able to fully control where their photos end up. McAfee Social Protection helps to further underscore our commitment to safeguarding consumers’ safety, data, and identities online.

Readers: Are you concerned enough about photos of yourself on Facebook to begin using McAfee Social Protection?

Images courtesy of Mashable.