Sunday, June 14, 2009

Please be smart(er) about the photos you post online!

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you've probably noticed that in an attempt to maintain some illusion of privacy / pseudo-anonymity, I don't usually post photos of myself online. If I do, half the face is usually covered, or blotted out somehow.

I'm a little more lax on Facebook, but not by much, since half my friends there I only know via blogging, and not in real life. For friends who do know me in real life, and who happen to post photos that include me, I'm happy to report that they are happy to cooperate to blur me out; in their Facebook photo albums, I just go in and 'untag' myself, no biggie.

Then for space-saving reasons, once I figured out how to do it, I have made it a point to not post hi-res images on my blogs: no need to have something at 1024 px width out there! I usually resize photos to 300-400 px before uploading, followed by further shrinkifying if necessary.

Why am I bringing this up? Well... A recent story has confirmed that I'm on the right track: have you heard about the Smith family from Missouri whose family Christmas photo ended up on a huge storefront advertisement in the Czech Republic? You can read about it here.

The high-resolution image had been sent out via email to family and friends, posted on a family member's blog and to some social networking sites. How the image then made its way to the storefront advertisement is being investigated.

The Smiths are fortunate that the photo wasn't used "in an unseemly manner", serving only to inform potential Prague shoppers about the Grazie store's delivery service.

According to Danielle Smith, the next time she posts a photo on the Internet, she's going to lower the resolution or add an electronic watermark to make it hard to reproduce.

Better late than never... but yes, please do exercise greater caution about what you choose to share online, okay? And that goes for all of you readers too, okay?

*climbs down from soapbox*

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  1. Totally agree...
    I usually don't upload full-sized images on the net and place some watermarks on it to help prevent the images from getting stolen.. Too many cases around already.

  2. oh crap! I'm just to lazy to do anything other than resizing the photos. Have to do something about this particular laziness of mine soon.

  3. I used to be quite anonymous for quite sometime until I decided to go public. I am aware of the dangers of posting pictures online and your suggestion to put a watermark does sound sensible.

  4. Any blog post, a word or image, will be seen by anybody online. It is out there and we lose control of it. I think bloggers are mostly wise enough to understand that. Beware and be careful! The fools are the Myspace crowd who post personally damaging stuff online. As Homer Simpson would say…”DOH!”

  5. How timely! Just uploaded a pic of myself wrapped in a towel (neck up, of course), but never thought about the consequences you mention. I'd be glad to add watermarks to my photos. How do you do that? I have no idea.

  6. Pictures of myself I don't mind posting, but I do not and will not post pictures of my children.. Thats one of my biggest pet peeves..People are so ignorant when it comes to their children's safety, and they need to be more careful..

  7. Thanks for sharing this information, next time I'll be careful in posting any photos.

  8. LOL! That is kind of funny. I'll post almost anything. Not too high of resolution. I would laugh if I saw it somewhere like that, but I would be upset if people were using it in a bad way.

  9. I post old photos (like more than two years old, so we no longer look like them) or dry brush them with photoshop or use profile, facial obstruction, or from behind photos only. I do have a few on Facebook, but I keep that to family and close friends only, and keep family photos private there, so I am doing ok, I think. However, I do want to learn to resize and use a watermark on all photos.


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