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Photo Tagging as a Privacy Problem?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the unflatteringscarf-needstogetahaircut-newshoestoo dept.

Privacy 143

An anonymous reader writes "The Harvard Law Review, a journal for legal scholarship, recently published a short piece on the privacy implications of online photo-tagging (pdf). The anonymously penned piece dourly concludes that 'privacy law, in its current form, is of no help to those unwillingly tagged.' Focusing on the privacy threat from newly emergent automatic facial recognition search engines', like Polar Rose but not Flickr or Facebook, the article states that 'for several reasons, existing privacy law is simply ill-suited for this new invasion.' The article suggests that Congress create a photo-tagging opt-out system, similar to what they did with telemarketing calls and the Do-Not-Call Registry." How would you enforce such a registry, though?

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Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361593)

Goatse! [goatse.cz]

Frosty piss?

"remove tag" (4, Informative)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361607)

I didn't RTFA, admittedly, but there's a "remove tag" link on Facebook. A lot of people I know use it, and just ask their friends not to tag them. It does the job well enough. And if that doesn't do it, there are privacy settings that can prevent anyone other than yourself or a specific group of people (friends/network/etc) from seeing the photos.

Re:"remove tag" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362017)

And if that doesn't do it, there are privacy settings that can prevent anyone other than yourself or a specific group of people (friends/network/etc) from seeing the photos.

Yes, but that doesn't help when you unknowingly end up in a photo that someone else took.

Re:"remove tag" (3, Informative)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362201)

Facebook notifies you in your mini-feed whenever you are tagged, and also emails you if you set it up to do so (as I do).
I've untagged photos of myself before. Unless someone were to place these photos on, say, flickr, where I have no presence, I can control when I am tagged.

In the information-rich anarchy of the web, privacy is a dying hope. Anywhere you can be seen in public can be recorded, labelled, stored, distributed, and more. It's possible to hide, but it's getting harder.

Re:"remove tag" (3, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362239)

This is nasty. It's like junk mail. Never ceasing, always something you have to keep an eye out for, and something that ultimately, you have to resolve, day in and day out. I can see this being an even bigger problem - what if you have no involvement at all with any of these services, but others that you know, do- they tag a picture with your name, and you'd have no way of knowing.

Re:"remove tag" (2, Insightful)

TheSciBoy (1050166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363079)

With that kind of friends, who needs enemies?

I really hope my friends aren't stupid enough to put pictures of me on the Internet without asking me first. Never mind tagging them with my name. I would never put an image of another person on a public web without asking their permission first. It's just common sense.

Then again, common sense is uncommon these days.

Re:"remove tag" (2, Funny)

cdrdude (904978) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364791)

I've looked through my friends camera before, checking for pictures of myself. I think it's safest that way, if a picture is deleted at the source, it can't get uploaded. Of course the best method for not having pictures taken of myself is to be ugly. I've had the most sucess with that, I'm never in the pictures :-)

Re:"remove tag" (0, Flamebait)

Old Benjamin (1068464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363861)

This continues to beg the question of why you want to hide.

Re:"remove tag" (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364455)

It's not a question of hiding. It's a question of respect. It's pretty sad that people still ask these questions. I find most people however to be hypocrites when it really comes down to it.

Re:"remove tag" (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364483)

Oh... speaking of hypocrites... why do you not show your email, or use show your name? ... or your phone number for that matter?

Re:"remove tag" (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364081)

Right now, a lot of employers won't hire someone if there's easily googleable photos of them in college, say, at a drinking party. I think what's happening in privacy (at least for the connected middle class -- the underclass doesn't have access to this stuff, and the true upper class has been practicing cultural invisibility in America since the 1930s) is that we're all becoming dormmates and acquaintances, and shots of us at 19 drinking, acting silly on vacation, and an angry blog or two by an ex are just going to have less and less effect on our real lives -- as they would among circles of people who actually know us.

The privacy that really gets hurt is the ability to compartmentalize off things that really should be private and will bias people against us - association with certain political organizations or friendships with controversial persons, outside the norm sexual habits, etc. etc. much like living in a very small town: it will get harder and harder to live outside the norms of those around us. "Public" frat antics: OK. Unpopular opinions or "deviant" behavior: grounds for not being hired.

It's not too long until we're all living like prospective politicians. I've heard that at Georgetown, there's a very strict no cameras and no Facebook rule for campus parties. A sign of the times, for sure, but really sensible and inevitable. It's been coming ever since the Republicans opened up Gary Hart's private life to politics in 1987, and in doing so, opened up every politicians'.

Re:"remove tag" (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362055)

> I didn't RTFA, admittedly, but there's a "remove tag" link on Facebook. A lot of people I know use it, and just ask their friends
> not to tag them. It does the job well enough. And if that doesn't do it, there are privacy settings that can prevent anyone other
> than yourself or a specific group of people (friends/network/etc) from seeing the photos.

How does that help me to get my tag removed from your photos, assuming you don't want to?

Re:"remove tag" (1)

esrobinson (1028500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362437)

How does that help me to get my tag removed from your photos, assuming you don't want to?

The "remove tag" link appears for the person tagged in the photo as well as the person who tagged it.

Re:"remove tag" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362161)

The author acknowledges those in-built checks and balances within systems like facebook - even the caption above states that the author is less concerned with those systems and more concerned about software like polar rose which automatically identifies people in photos, and lets you find more photos with the same face.

Here no human has made the decision to make that knowledge public with that image, but it's still available and searchable. Eg the software knows what you look like because your photo is available and tagged on your company website, so now all of a sudden anyone can find your photo on a site with security camera videos of people having sex in car parks. Or whatever :)

I think we all have a few inopportune photos on myspace somewhere, and rely on them to be hard to find by people who know you.

I was under the assumption (5, Insightful)

YouTookMyStapler (1057796) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361619)

that when you posted something, especially photos, on the internet it was no longer private.

Re:I was under the assumption (3, Insightful)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361669)

Unless of course someone else posted the photo without your permission.

Re:I was under the assumption (2, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361815)

If you're that worried about people seeing a picture of you, then don't leave your house. Personally, I don't see the BFD

Re:I was under the assumption (3, Informative)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361875)

The big fucking deal isn't the picture itself, but the connection of the picture with your name. I don't mind that unknown people can find pictures with my unlabeled self in the frame by poking around websites relevant to my hobbies. I DO mind, however, if a simple search for my real name can present the searcher with a look into my private life because some "friend" feels it necessary to catalogue the names of everyone in their photos.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361897)

Yup a still frame gives good insight into somebody's private life. If it's not something you want people to see, then I reiterate my previous point, DON'T TAKE A PICTURE OF IT.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

Von Helmet (727753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361927)

And the previous point will be re-iterated... What if someone else takes the picture?

You must have remarkable restraint if you've never done anything that might be embarrassing were someone to take a picture of it and show, say, your boss, your wife, your parents, etc.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363365)

If someone else is in a position to take a picture of you doing something embarassing then it's a moot point -- you've already lost your privacy, and anything you do to supress their right to show and label their pictures is an afront to freedom of speech. You don't get to control pictures (or captions thereof) that other people take legally, at least not in any country where I vote.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364215)

Except you have no control over whether or not the caption is accurate.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361931)

Yup a still frame gives good insight into somebody's private life.

I didn't say "insight." I said "a look." Frankly, nobody has the right to either without one's consent, implicit or express.

If it's not something you want people to see, then I reiterate my previous point, DON'T TAKE A PICTURE OF IT.

Damn, you still haven't bothered to RTFA?

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

gratemyl (1074573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362353)

Damn, you still haven't bothered to RTFA?

You must be new here.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361943)

I DO mind, however, if a simple search for my real name can present the searcher with a look into my private life because some "friend" feels it necessary to catalogue the names of everyone in their photos.


The article proposes a registry of people who want to be excluded from automatic (machine) tagging, based on face recognition software; It's not proposing that we limit your friends' free speech rights.

IE, "This is a picture of Sunburnt, who is user 890890 on Slashdot," would still be legal, as far as I understand the article's efforts.

Re:I was under the assumption (2)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361981)

The article proposes a registry of people who want to be excluded from automatic (machine) tagging, based on face recognition software; It's not proposing that we limit your friends' free speech rights.

Indeed, but I was responding to someone who'd obviously not read the article, so I didn't figure that was too relevant.

IE, "This is a picture of Sunburnt, who is user 890890 on Slashdot," would still be legal, as far as I understand the article's efforts.
As it should be. My point was that a friend's freedom of speech to provide unwelcome public identification would likely bring my freedom of association into play, assuming the person in question wasn't willing to remove my real name from Flickr. Or, in this case, disassociation.

Re:I was under the assumption (2, Interesting)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362171)

As it should be. My point was that a friend's freedom of speech to provide unwelcome public identification would likely bring my freedom of association into play, assuming the person in question wasn't willing to remove my real name from Flickr. Or, in this case, disassociation.


Well, ...

You're joking, right. ;)

Your making a pun, but you're not seriously suggesting that there's a relevant contradiction between the freedom of association (freedom to hang out with people, or even to NOT hang out with people, for that matter,) and the freedom of speech here...

You're just making a joke on the word "association." (right?)

Just in case you're *not,* -- The freedom of association is about *who you hang out with,* not "what people associate you with." People are free to associate you with whatever, as long as they're not libelous or slanderous. If you actually WERE at the bar at 3:00AM on Sunday with So-and-So though, they're free to say that, as long as it's true, no matter *how* you'd like people to think of you. Nothing there prevents you from going back to the bar again, your freedom of association is not hindered.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362263)

Your making a pun, but you're not seriously suggesting that there's a relevant contradiction between the freedom of association (freedom to hang out with people, or even to NOT hang out with people, for that matter,) and the freedom of speech here...

Right.

To be more explicit: I'm saying that if a friend used his freedom of speech in this manner and then refused the courtesy of removing my name from the picture's tags upon a polite request, I would cease hanging out with that particular person. No contradiction between the freedoms of speech and association was meant to be implied. The pun hadn't even occurred to me, but it's early and I've had no decent sleep.

Nice user #, BTW.

Re:I was under the assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363003)

Free speech doesn't apply here.

Re:I was under the assumption (3, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361991)

This is an interesting double edged sword because it the argument that actors have been fighting for years! Essentially actors want the ability to say you can't take a picture of me in public. Yet right now the court ruling is that once you are in public then there is no expectation of privacy. In the UK they said reasonable (eg against voyeurism), but beyond that you are in the public and people can take pictures. So if you now post to the Internet the same thing is allowed. This is why I don't publish to public services. I have my own server with name and password and I share with family and friends. Beyond that nothing. Frankly its people's own fault that they were too short sighted and too cheap to not take better precautions.

So if you argue that there is no name tagging then there is no right to take pictures of actors, politicians, etc. The law is about the general public not individual situations.

Re:I was under the assumption (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362275)

Frankly its people's own fault that they were too short sighted and too cheap to not take better precautions.

Such as? Seriously - when this notion "you have no expectation of privacy if you're out in public," became commonly accepted, I doubt seriously they were able to foresee the development of the internet, and how completely inexpensive and painless it is to become both the one taking the pictures and the publisher. Publishing no longer takes place with the limitations imposed by traditional media, but is nearly cost-free, and can reach a world-wide audience.

In the vast majority of cases, people have no choice but to be in public. We have a vast collection of shared resources that must be utilized to whatever extent necessary to carry out our day-to-day lives- that's the way our society works. I do not believe that the fact we must be in public to accomplish certain tasks automatically nullifies any right to be left the hell alone.

Re:I was under the assumption (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362003)

I DO mind, however, if a simple search for my real name can present the searcher with a look into my private life because some "friend" feels it necessary to catalogue the names of everyone in their photos.
Be more careful with your friends then.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362037)

Be more careful with your friends then.

Well, it hasn't happened yet, if that's any indication. Oddly enough, I'm not that close with anyone unconcerned with privacy. Exhibitionists, in my experience, are generally exhibitionists because their lives are too boring to hide, or at the other end of the spectrum, outrageous for the sheer purpose of provoking outrage.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362269)

s. I DO mind, however, if a simple search for my real name can present the searcher with a look into my private life because some "friend" feels it necessary to catalogue the names of everyone in their photos.

So ask your friend to remove it.

A while ago I started to get spam, which because of the way it was addressed I tracked down to an acquaintance's webpage where he'd acknowledged some advice I'd given, quoting an email I'd sent with that address. So I asked him to pull it and after a while that spam died off.

Whatever the law says, this kind of thing will happen with the best intentions, you'll still have to take care of it yourself.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362345)

So ask your friend to remove it.

That's what I'm advocating, yes. Disagreeing with a replier to the main article does not denote approval of the article's content.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362621)

if a simple search for my real name can present the searcher with a look into my private life because some "friend" feels it necessary to catalogue the names of everyone in their photos.


You and the other poster seem to think that you're arguing about whether or not people should post photos online. But reading your comments as a third-party it seems that you both disagree over what a photo actually is. When you're hanging out with your friends in a private environment you have some expectation of privacy. As soon as somebody takes a photograph they have violated that privacy straight away. Before flickr people assume that this violation wasn't a big deal - only people in your group of friends would see the photo anyway.

The reason that the other poster feels it isn't a BFG (I assume) is that once that photo exists your privacy has been violated anyway. Flickr is just the icing on the cake. From what you've written I assume that you don't see the original violation, and consider the posting of the image to be the loss of privacy. There are arguments to be made on both sides here, but my gut reaction would be with the other poster - any photograph is a violation of privacy, although mostly we would allow the violation.

Consider photos taken with an ex-lover. When they become an ex what are the photos? They have become a violation of privacy long after the fact. People do instinctively understand this on some level and hence many people are uneasy being photographed in certain situations, whether making love or just hitting a bong at a party.

The real problem here is the vampire that wrote the paper. He has seen a way to expand his market so that he can take a pound of flesh from every "privacy" dispute over online photographs that contain people (ie 90% of them). The easiest way to fix this problem is not to create an online registry - first thing that we do is we shoot all of the lawyers, then we can argue about privacy.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362047)

Alas even if it was done without your permission, it does not make it 'unpublic' anymore.

Re:I was under the assumption (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362949)

Don't laugh at this, I'm being dead serious:

Register the image of your face as a Servicemark. Sue anyone who tries to post it without your permission. "Defend" your mark by not letting arbitrary people take your picture. (I would say Trademark, but in most cases Trademarks are only applicable when you're selling something, Servicemarks are applicable at any point you may perform a service...)

Of course, you'd have to be a really paranoid SOB to really care that much. But hey, it's legal (as long as you claim your face is the legal entity that does your service, whatever service that may be).

Re:I was under the assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361671)

So it's OK for me to take a picture of you through the window of your house and post it on the net? After all, it's no longer private if it's on the internet, right?

Oh, wait. It's possible to take pictures of other people and post them without getting their permission. Heck, it's even possible that you are simply standing in the background of my vacation pics. Your comment is true only when posting pictures of yourself.

Who cares about personal photos, really? (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361641)

I think tagging works best in services such as Panoramio [panoramio.com] where you can actually make something of the photo you tag. Since Panoramio is by definition a "landscape photos" service, tagging public dominion images will never create any problem.

The only way out of personal tagging photo services is if companies like Flickr keep an e-mail address for those seeing their photos online and wanting them off. But they will have to prove they are the guys/gals on the photos. How will they do that? Sending other photos or ID?

A mess...

Panoramio acquired by Google... (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362421)

For the paranoiacs, Paronamio has been acquired by Google [blogspot.com] this week (more info here [gearthblog.com] ).

"if companies like Flickr keep an e-mail address for those seeing their photos online"
You haven't mentioned it, but I guess you already know about FlickrMap [flickr.com] . Flickr is part of Yahoo!, and they're not going out [slashgeo.org] of the competition vs Google / Microsoft and alternatives [openstreetmap.org] on the mapping stuff and photos.

Simply put.. (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361645)

If you enjoy privacy, don't put your personal information (including pictures of yourself) on the internet. What's so hard about that?

Not so simple (2, Insightful)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361661)

Random other person X takes a picture of you. Maybe you were standing in a public place and didn't know your picture was being taken. Person X uploads the photo and tags it with your name. Other than spending your entire life outside of publicly-viewable physical locations and simultaneously ensuring that no-one knows your name (so that if they do manage to get a picture they don't know how to tag it), what sort of control do you have over that?

Re:Not so simple (3, Insightful)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361693)

Outside of celebrities and political figures, whose lives are public anyway, the chances of a random person taking a photo of you and posting it on the internet tagged with your name are astronomical.

Worst case, send the host a letter demanding the removal of your name from the image tag. State that it is a risk to your health and safety. Most people, not wanting to be at risk of criminal negligence, will comply.

Re:Not so simple (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362523)

and posting it on the internet tagged with your name are astronomical.

Random person posting your picture on the internet, plus random someone else tagging said picture once its on the internet with your name is less so.

Especially once you realize that we're no longer talking about people running around in public, but pictures taken at private parties and such where the people present are all likely to know each other, or know someone who knows the other's name.

Re:Not so simple (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363083)

What about the photos of individuals on maps.google.com?

Re:Not so simple (4, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361711)

You know, all of a sudden I gain a whole new understanding of why some women willingly wear a burka.

I can see a whole new fashion genre being driven by our emerging everpresent surveillance and recording. When will ThinkGeek get a 'privacy enhanced clothing' section?

Re:Not so simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363165)

I can see a whole new fashion genre being driven by our emerging everpresent surveillance and recording.
It's already here (at least in the UK) - hooded tops and baseball caps. Most people are courteous enough not to take your photograph without asking, though, it's not like Flickr is full of surreptitiously taken photographs of people, and I can't imagine any government agency recording and storing people's faces in a database.

No, I'm kidding - wear sunglasses and a baseball cap and grow a beard. After all, if you're outside you must want to be photographed.

Re:Not so simple (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361745)

Other than spending your entire life outside of publicly-viewable physical locations and simultaneously ensuring that no-one knows your name (so that if they do manage to get a picture they don't know how to tag it),what sort of control do you have over that?

None. As it should be. You're in public. People might *gasp* see you! I know, scary! As far as I can tell this is a free speech issue. I may have a photograph of you, but that doesn't make it your photograph. It's my photo and I'll do what I want with it. But maybe I'm biased. My associates and I make out livings photographing and videotaping people in public places, labeling the images with their respective names and the location the image was acquired in, uploading portions onto the internet, and selling the ultimate result by the thousands on DVD internationally. People like what we do and pay good money for it. There is nothing wrong, immoral or insidious about it. Your "right" to privacy ends as soon as you go out into public. It's everybody's world and you are just one tiny part of it. Welcome to society, population: you.

Re:Not so simple (2, Interesting)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361905)

My associates and I make out livings photographing and videotaping people in public places, labeling the images with their respective names and the location the image was acquired in, uploading portions onto the internet, and selling the ultimate result by the thousands on DVD internationally[...]There is nothing wrong, immoral or insidious about it.
Yeah, it's not like there are laws against commercial exploitation of another's image without their express consent. Of wait, there are, so I guess there is something "wrong" with it, assuming that consent is not sought before publication.

And before some karma-seeking moron comes back with "What about when you're in the stands at a sporting event," let me point out that purchasing a ticket provides consent in that instance. Read the back of your ticket sometime. Many other public settings that require a ticket or an entry fee also require you to surrender a bit of your right to privacy.

It's like those stupid "Girls Gone Wild" DVDs: you have to make sure and get the girls to sign waivers (or "model release" papers). Alcohol helps, I hear, which is among the reasons why that vile fuckwit Joe Francis is probably headed to jail in the near future.

Re:Not so simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19364133)

Yeah, it's not like there are laws against commercial exploitation of another's image without their express consent. Of wait, there are, so I guess there is something "wrong" with it, assuming that consent is not sought before publication.

That's a good point, except the part about these fictional laws you just made up. Oh wait, I guess it's not a good point. In the US, no model release is required for images taken in public. Sorry, thanks for playing.

Re:Not so simple (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364573)

In the US, no model release is required for images taken in public.

Especially if you don't mind leaving yourself open to suit from the people who appear in the images, if they can find a way to demonstrate something like defamation or privacy infringement as a result of your use and correlation of their image and identity. Privacy laws regarding images vary state-to-state, but laws like Florida's [state.fl.us] are common.

Thanks for playing, anonymous coward.

Re:Not so simple (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362317)

Random other person X takes a picture of you. Maybe you were standing in a public place and didn't know your picture was being taken. Person X uploads the photo and tags it with your name.

How does X know who you are?

Re:Not so simple (1)

gratemyl (1074573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362959)

From other tagged images, duh! :P

Re:Simply put.. (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361717)

We're not talking about self-tagged images here. What happens is that Bob, which you barely know ran around taking pictures at some social gathering. Maybe he's one of those friends who likes to make "party pictures". Then Bob uploads those pictures to myspace or facebook or whatever, and tag them with the names of the people present. Then suddenly you find a picture of yourself in a pirate hat drinking an unspecified liquid with the subtitle "Drunken pirate" and don't get your teaching degree or whatever.

I mean among friends this wasn't exactly unusual in the paper days. You have a picture from the New Year's Eve party, flip it over and it says "Joe, Bob and Anne drinking champagne". The trouble comes when this isn't some private photo album, it's something published and tagged and tracable to you. And unlike other info online you can pretty easily tell if this is the same guy you're considering hiring or not. Of course, you might say it's only the truth or whatever. But if you haven't done anything in your life you'd not very proud off like getting completely drunk and... well then you haven't lived enough.

The solution: SPAM (3, Interesting)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361915)

The solution I prefer over restricting access to information is flooding everybody with information. OK, there will be pictures of you doing something stupid. So what? There will be pictures of everybody doing something stupid.

The only advantage I can see to restricting information is that people can keep their hypocritic attitudes. With the flooding solution, attitutes will need to change.

I guess this is why Congress attacks picture labeling, rather than the kind of privacy information that really matters, such as shopping habbits. The later just re-inforses the corporate hold over the citizens, while the prior threatens the micture of hyporacy and pre-judices commonly known as "family values".

Re:The solution: SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362233)

the kind of privacy information that really matters, such as shopping habbits.

zomg, somebody knows that I bought a chocolate bar yesterday! My life is over!

Re:The solution: SPAM (1)

gratemyl (1074573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362971)

A 180solutions (Zango now) knows that you are male (some online form you filled in 2 years ago) and that you recently purchased some very interesting ``toys''.

John Hacker comes along, cracks the well-protected DB and publishes online - sound great?

Re:The solution: SPAM (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363389)

What if they tag a stupid photo of someone that looks like you with YOUR name?

What recourse do you have?

--jeffk++

Re:The solution: SPAM (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363511)

What recourse do you have?

Deal with it and get over it?

Re:Simply put.. (4, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362007)

Well don't act like a drunken pirate! And if a company is not willing to overlook a simple once in a while drunken pirate situation then you obviously don't want to work for the company. Or if you are more often than not the drunken pirate, well then you have a problem.

I think the bigger problem is that people have to come face to face with hypocrisy. I remember when I was a kid in highschool (late 80's) there were teenagers that would be so nice and honorable to certain people. And then be the biggest bully to other people. People regularly were hypocritical and because there is no tape rolling or picture being snapped people could always talk themselves out of the tough situations. Now those excuses don't cut it anymore because, well there is proof to the contrary. And now the teenager that was so nice in one situation and bully in another has been outed.

I personally could never play the one face to one crowd and another face to another crowd game and I am glad it is over. AND I am glad it is over for others. Let's see, police beatings where people said it never happen, politicians insulting people taping them when they said oh it was not so bad, the list goes on!

Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362643)

"You know, when I was a young man, hypocrisy was deemed the worst of vices," Finkle-McGraw said. "It was all because of moral relativism. You see, in that sort of a climate, you are not allowed to criticise others-after all, if there is no absolute right and wrong, then what grounds is there for criticism?"
Now, this led to a good deal of general frustration, for people are naturally censorious and love nothing better than to criticise others' shortcomings. And so it was that they seized on hypocrisy and elevated it from a ubiquitous peccadillo into the monarch of all vices. For, you see, even if there is no right and wrong, you can find grounds to criticise another person by contrasting what he has espoused with what he has actually done. In this case, you are not making any judgment whatsoever as to the correctness of his views or the morality of his behaviour-you are merely pointing out that he has said one thing and done another. Virtually all political discourse in the days of my youth was devoted to the ferreting out of hypocrisy."

We take a somewhat different view of hypocrisy," Finkle-McGraw continued. "In the late-twentieth-century Weltanschauung, a hypocrite was someone who espoused high moral views as part of a planned campaign of deception-he never held these beliefs sincerely and routinely violated them in privacy. Of course, most hypocrites are not like that. Most of the time it's a spirit-is-willing, flesh-is-weak sort of thing."

"That we occasionally violate our own stated moral code," Major Napier said, working it through, "does not imply that we are insincere in espousing that code."

"Of course not," Finkle-McGraw said. "It's perfectly obvious, really. No one ever said that it was easy to hew to a strict code of conduct. Really, the difficulties involved-the missteps we make along the way-are what make it interesting. The internal, and eternal, struggle, between our base impulses and the rigorous demands of our own moral system is quintessentially human. It is how we conduct ourselves in that struggle that determines how we may in time be judged by a higher power."

-- The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson.

Also see Moral Relativism [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Simply put.. (3, Insightful)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363053)

This is an extremely Slashdot reader type of reply. Modded up to boot. You see the world much too black & white, from a very engineering guy sorta perspective.

If a company is not willing to overlook a simple drunken pirate situation you didn't want to work for them anyways? For most people this is not a mater of principle on which to draw the line in the sand. They just want to be able to keep their jobs. Maybe they really want to work at the company other than that, and they'd like to just keep their private lives separate from their work lives. Maybe they work in a profession (like teaching) where society as a whole is so conservative that this might be an issue of being able to get a job at all.

This is far from being hypocritical, but simply having a difference between the way you act at work and the way you act at home, which is really just natural and proper. There is a time and place for formality and a time and place for fun. By damning those who act differently in front of their boss from when they're hanging out with their friends, you're damning about 99% of the population. Maybe you're not the type to go to parties, but for those who are, do you think they'd have as much fun if at every party they went their boss was always standing behind them watching what they do? Well having some guy you barely know post pictures of you from that party and intermingling your work and private lives isn't a ton of fun.

What you're basically saying is that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. And the response to that is that everyone has something to hide, whether they want to admit it or not. I am sure even you can think of something that you did that there is somebody out there you would not want to see.

Re:Simply put.. (3, Insightful)

EricFenderson (64220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363085)

Well don't act like a drunken pirate! And if a company is not willing to overlook a simple once in a while drunken pirate situation then you obviously don't want to work for the company. Or if you are more often than not the drunken pirate, well then you have a problem.

That'd be a fantastic idea if photos were somehow truth the way people think they are. We have this cultural idea that a photo is a cold, unlying thing. Of course, if Bob the party photographer only takes photos at paries, his photos tell a very different story than Dave, the guy you work with that only takes photos of you at work. Or how about your Grandmother that only takes photos at family gatherings?

Saying "Well don't act like a drunken pirate!" is a gross oversimplification of the situation. Who gets to pick the story that the prosecution tells when you are drug into court over something maybe related and maybe unrelated? Do you think they are going to be honest to the jury and let them know that there's more to the story?

Re:Simply put.. (1)

adyus (678739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362921)


I should have posted this higher, but this is as good a place as any...
 
The only solution to this ongoing privacy problem, and one that people happily ignore, is to never do anything that you would be ashamed of! It's that easy... If an employer decides to not hire you because you enjoyed a glass of champagne at a party then you most likely would not enjoy working for him/her anyway.
 
Why don't we all just admit to who we really are and take responsibility for our actions?

Re:Simply put.. (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362975)

"person x does something, person y find out about it and an action results".
is this representative of the problem statement?
or is it
"person x does something, person z has a record of the event; possibly publically avaible."

if the only objection to the second statement is that it modifies the ease at which the first can result, then you have a problem with the first statemnt.
To resolve that issue, simply don't behave in an indecent manner (in the above example the embarising action is "getting drunk and looking like a fool"), or perform any action with other people which you would not want potentially everyone to know about.

The default state for knowlege is to spread - the entire idea that you can place artifical boundries on the spread of information is what thw whole DRM mess is about.

If other people have photos of you you don't want shared, just ask them - most people are honerable enough to not do so, and if not then why would you perform such actions infront of them?

Re:Simply put.. (1)

EdMack (626543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361735)

That you get tagged without ever touching the internet?

Re:Simply put.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361843)

You know, that Jack Skellington image you have up at http://dteichman.deviantart.com/ [deviantart.com] will probably get you into trouble. Disney is particularly lawyer-happy these days, and you seem to be in Orange County so you're also covered under California law. Hope none of the hundreds of thousands of people who look at this story feel like turning you in...

But I'm sure you're covered by your domain's tech contact, "Angel of Hell, Satan satan@holyhell.net". (Admin contact at 1834 E Hallandale Beach Blvd, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009 [google.com] . Can't wait for the Google Street View.)

From your blog: "We all have the freedom to do what ever we want, to think what ever we want, and be what ever we truly want to be. I feel that we need to exercise this privilege more often.... I think every person needs to either shut up or prove their point dead cold and if they can't they need to be enlightened on how stupid they are being. If you have something to say, say it then move on or try and prove your point, but don't drone on like a preacher about something not many people even really want to hear about. I am a strong believer in torture, rather than humane execution. This is the rule of The Red Death. Don't like it? FUCK YOU!"

See ya later, Red Death. And remember, if you enjoy privacy, don't put your personal information on the internet. What's so hard about that?

ps: If you wrote "Frankly i'm disapointed with my personal endurance psychological and physical over the past month and have gotten fed up and angry. Fuck you all in the pisshole with a sharpened and spiny knife", you may be a psychopathic time-bomb in waiting. Try not to kill anybody!

Re:Simply put.. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362075)

Well, admittedly, torture-loving Daniel Teichman of Orange County is only 16 at the moment, so I'm sure his grossly immature attitude will come back to haunt him when he's 18 or 19 and looking for a job. Oh, and please don't bother his father, Dore Teichman. He's a performance engineer for IBM in Miami--we wouldn't want to disturb him simply because his son was being obnoxious. And BTW, isn't it some sort of crime to put false information in a domain registry listing? Sure would hate for someone to go after Daniel Teichman for that.

Re:Simply put.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363461)

I agree, Daniel Teichman [robin-ann.net] , who was born on April 28 [amazon.com] .

Yeh but... (1)

Seiruu (808321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361647)

"New invasion" it says, but isn't it just people doing whatever they want with their property. In this case that being photos?

If you're trying to stop people from doing whatever they want with their own (online accessible) photos, some further steps down this "new invasion" might be: "My name/company/pet is mentioned/being blasted on a website! Noooooooooo must stop them!"

Well, here's a thought... (2, Insightful)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361663)

I am by no means trolling here, when I say that if someone doesn't want their picture floating around on the Internet, don't send it into the tubes. As far as I am concerned, once it has gotten there, the horse has left the barn.

As for laws that would deal with some kind of do-not-tag list, that is just damned stupid. Yes, somehow, magically all of these photohosting sites are going to be able to use facial recognition and ensure that someone else's photo doesn't have you somewhere in it? Facial recognition, from what I am hearing, is coming along, but it is nowhere near "that ready".

Personally, I am going out on a limb here, I see two options: one is that since most photos of people of teh interwebs is self-posted, simply have an option chosen at registration that says something to the effect of "do you wish other users to tag your photos?" and have a radial button beside yes/no. Or even a photo-level option, so that upon uploading and posting a photo it asks a similar question.

My other idea is decidedly less kind to those who get their photo posted: don't let other people take your picture. yes folks, you don't really need your photo taken, and it can be done with out looking like a party pooper. Volunteer to take the picture.

People have to start learning about technology, and the consequences of society's use of it. Imagine if people knew that posting that picture of them underage drinking at a high school bash on MySpace is going to get them in deep doo doo. Or that what they type can be used against them. Or that they shouldn't just post their personal details for all to see (including extra-marital affairs.... something I have seen several times) With action comes consequence... here endeth the lesson.

Now, for those who might start pointing their fingers at me, saying that "they are talking about people who get caught on camera without knowing it, like the bikini-clad Stanford co-ed students on Google Earth and such!" To that, I would say, you can't see a single identifying feature about them. And if you did get a picture taken by Google Earth that could be used to identify you (and let us face it, that number would be small indeed), if you were outside, you really have no reasonable expectation of privacy in such a situation.

Just my 2c...

Re:Well, here's a thought... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362077)

Now, for those who might start pointing their fingers at me, saying that "they are talking about people who get caught on camera without knowing it, like the bikini-clad Stanford co-ed students on Google Earth and such!" To that, I would say, you can't see a single identifying feature about them. And if you did get a picture taken by Google Earth that could be used to identify you (and let us face it, that number would be small indeed), if you were outside, you really have no reasonable expectation of privacy in such a situation.

That's the whole point, isn't it? If someone who knows these girls tags the picture you no longer need an identifying feature.

Sometimes... (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361673)

Sometimes the right solution to a problem isn't a new law. I confess I'm not sure what the right solution is (it might be "ignore it," or it might not), but I don't think it's a new law...

Re:Sometimes... (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361701)

if only more people saw it that way. I find myself thinking the exact same thing more and more often all the time. though I am only old enough to actually pay attention for a few years now so this may have been an issue for quite some time. my knowledge of basic history tells me it is getting worse though. lots of people talk about wanting small government, how do these "save me from my own stupidity" laws ever get far enough for me to see them in the news?

Too early to pass laws (3, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361713)

We have a plenty of current privacy concerns to worry about - unwanted indexing of old postings, surveillance cameras, abuse of SSNs and credit card purchase histories. Let facial recognition software become useful before we legislate it, otherwise the law will likely be both incomplete and overreaching due to lack of experience. Certainly, there should be no restrictions on people indexing their private photo libraries without asking for anyone's permission.

Re:Too early to pass laws (1)

ZippyKitty (902321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363233)

While I agree that there are plenty of current privacy concerns, I don't agree we should wait until facial recognition software becomes useful. By then we will be trying to put chicken back in the egg. There will be prior art, the gradual erosion of rights, and other factors which will come into play. We need to start trying to get a handle on it now.

I'm not sure legislation is the answer. But I don't know what is. Modern society is very complex - I can find the answer to many questions in just seconds. As soon as the question crosses my head - I just flip up the lid to my computer and type a few words. Up comes the answer. I'm not sure I want people to be able to do that about ME. And what if it is wrong and malicious... an ex posts a bunch of photos (maybe photoshopped) or, my name is fairly rare and if you do a search for my name most of the results are for a writer of erotic literature. I'm an engineer - I write like an engineer - but what if my next employer were to think she were me!

ZK

Re:Too early to pass laws (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363823)

And what if it is wrong and malicious... an ex posts a bunch of photos (maybe photoshopped) or, my name is fairly rare and if you do a search for my name most of the results are for a writer of erotic literature.

Well, that's one case where any legislation would make modern Internet impossible. Google can not reliably distinguish an erotic novel from a sexy functional spec covering homosexual adapters to bridge male and female RS232 connectors. ISPs can not and should not screen every blog posting and afterwards it's too late to remove offending photos. We COULD go after commercial abuse, such as companies using unverified Google search results for hiring decisions. For the rest, people will just have to learn to be both skeptical about Internet - most of us already are with all the 409 scams - and accepting that all of us have sex, smoke pot and make dumb comments when drunk.

"They may not like what they see." (5, Interesting)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361719)

"Although Catherine Bosley received attention because of her public career, the lesson of the story is applicable to anyone: when employers or others have easy access to our most personal information, they may not like what they see."
-- TFA

I'm trying to figure out, "What is it about this quotation that's bothering me?"

There's something that bugs me about this whole thing; Like we're ashamed of who we are, or like we're trying to keep ourselves safe from all the judgmental people out there, or like we don't have the courage to tell people, "Hey, this is how I have a good time, and you just have to deal with it."

I can't quite put my finger on it...

I think it has something to do with my ideas about how social progress is made. I think that, when, as a people, we're hiding and squirreling away the realities in our lives, from "the public," I think we're doing a disservice to the world. When people catch our private lives, and we have to say, "Well, you know what? Screw you all- THIS IS OKAY, and here's why" -- we find ourselves unwitting social activists.

We may have spent all our lives hating social activists, and bitterly spitting, saying, "Just keep it private," but now, something is exposed, and we have to start talking to people.

I think that's something of how progress is made, in society. I think a genuinely tolerant and compassionate society is not made of a bunch of people putting blinders over their eyes.

Re:"They may not like what they see." (2, Insightful)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361787)

On the contrary, I think you put your finger on it very well.

Re:"They may not like what they see." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362291)

http://xkcd.com/c137.html [xkcd.com]

You'd probably dig that.

As sad as it is, though, it's true. It seems like there are a lot of employers who will not consider you if your routine isn't "Get up, go to work, go home, watch the latest Socially Acceptable Sitcom, go to bed." And if said employer hops on Google and puts your name in and finds something even slightly deviating from the norm, it does stand to work against you. As if what you do on your own time affects whether or not you're qualified to do your job...

Sad but true...

Re:"They may not like what they see." (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363385)

It's not that we're ashamed of who we are. It's that other people will draw their own conclusions from your public persona, and use that to make decisions about you. That includes potential employers and current employers. For example, it's common in large corporations to fire employees who have been publically drunk in some situations, because the employee is considered to be representing the corporation -- even during off-hours.

Sadly, we all have to interact with other people, and that puts restrictions on your own actions, like it or not.

--Rob

Re:"They may not like what they see." (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364881)

There's something that bugs me about this whole thing; Like we're ashamed of who we are, or like we're trying to keep ourselves safe from all the judgmental people out there, or like we don't have the courage to tell people, "Hey, this is how I have a good time, and you just have to deal with it."

We aren't necessarily hiding ourselves from all inspection and judgment, Rather, we are hiding ourselves from judgment against the many irrational moral codes out there. For example, some people have accepted the idea that alcohol is immoral in any quantity, and so they will wrongly condemn you for being at that party.

Such condemnation matters because (as others have pointed out already) it can cost you a job that you deserve, a promotion that you've earned, or a social opportunity that would be constructive. It also matters because condemnation will cause you pain -- being as we are tribal creatures who are still hard-wired to feel real pain when others disapprove of us.

Not to mention our erratic lawmaking, in which perfectly moral actions (such as, for example, spanking your kid, or smoking a joint) might suddenly become illegal. Privacy protects us from that, too. We wouldn't need privacy if all laws and all employees of the legal system were rational, honest, and conscientious.

Googlable tagging of photos is a giant step away from privacy... at a time when our society's level of rationality does not support such a move.

Yeah it's been said already before (1)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361721)

If you don't want people seeing your junk, you don't hang your junk out your trunks when you go to the mall.

If you don't want people seeing your junk online, don't hang your junk out on myspace where everyone can search for it and see it.

Instead of government protecting people from the bad decisions they make, how about we let society learn and advance to the point where people understand what the internet is, and how it can be used to benefit, and to harm; and let that awareness grow.

Just like kids are taught to look both ways before crossing the street, this needs to be something taught and passed along as a public safety issue by society, rather than brought down upon the people by the government.

Re:Yeah it's been said already before (1)

Speedracer1870 (1041248) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361793)

And if you don't want random people tagging you... just go buy an invisibility cloak. You will not be in any photos unless you consent.

What about the "international" problem of the web? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361831)

Well, we all know how well those "do not call" lists work. I still get those calls (but strangely they hang up when I ask what institute they call for... strange, ain't it?), despite being on "the list".

But that's not even the problem. The problem is the same as with spam. Normal phone calls and snail spam have a limit to its propagation, it become expensive to do it from abroad. Spam is a different matter, where a national law can't even remotely address the problem, if it's not allowed here, the spam is sent out from some country that doesn't care about spam.

It's the same problem with pictures hosted somewhere. Accessable from anywhere on the web, it does not matter whether you have laws against displaying people or items. Some country won't, and those pictures will be hosted there instead.

What expectation of privacy do you have? (2)

zaguar (881743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361985)

If you willingly let yourself get photographed, and someone puts it up on Flickr with your name on it - how can you expect privacy? Same as if you are photographed walking down a street - where is the violation of your privacy?

Re:What expectation of privacy do you have? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363375)

You are making too many assumptions.

a) You are assuming I let myself be photographed
- I have been unwillingly photographed in public many times. Aside from breaking the law and taking the photographer's camera away, there is not much I can do about. And let's face, it's not in anybody's self interest to make ones' self look like an anti-social deviant.
- I have been photographed at work. I suppose I could tell my boss to fuck off, but really I do need a job
- I have been photographed while sleeping. Not much I can do if I'm unconscious.

Of course if somebody put these photos of me on Flickr with my name on it, I would not expect any privacy. The question is irrelevant.

b) You are assuming you have the right to privacy in a public place
If you walk down the street there are social expectations of privacy. Of course there may or may not be legal expectations of privacy. There have been instances of people being arrested for taking pictures of children in public parks, so one could presume that society (or at least the police) consider that a privacy violation. Also, there have been people arrested for taking pictures of the police in the public. Of course these incidents are legally dubious (depends where you live of course), but it indicates that there is at least a social expectation of privacy.

The real issue is trying to legislate privacy, especially with something as ubiquitous as photography and the Internet. Laws generally seem to be better at punishing people than controlling them (just look at the drug laws, or even the laws on speeding). These laws are ineffectual (at STOPPING bad behavior), and so will any new laws dealing with spreading pictures over the Internet.

Re:What expectation of privacy do you have? (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363513)

If you willingly let yourself get photographed...

... or if you willingly let someone tag a photograph of someone who merely resembles you, or a digitally-manipulated photograph so that it looks like you....

Problems with Unwanted photo's on the Internet (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362023)

The Problems with Unwanted photo's on the Internet:

Employers, divorce lawyers and other miscreants just need an excuse to make your life difficult. For example, you happen to be in the same picture with a criminal, then you are automatically tagged and associated with a criminal. Don't under-judge how unfair and unreasonable people can be.

Associating your face and your name with unwanted adjectives (tags), like let's say "alcoholic". Of course libel law can deal with this, but it is anything but cheap or easy for the average person to deal with.

And I can imagine getting your image off the Internet is about as easy as the MPAA stopping people from downloading some rather lame movies.

I don't think there are any solutions for this. If your boss doesn't think you have the right "image" for the company based on something an ex-boyfriend uploaded to YouTube, then maybe it's better off you don't work for that type of company. Of course my high moral standards have never made me rich. It is however a thought.

I can stop my Website from being indexed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362051)

...with robots.txt [wikipedia.org] but not stop my face being indexed. Something's wrong here.

To the other posters who say "don't post your pictures online": I never have; never will; never gave permission; yet e.g. Google image search shows several pictures of me posted by people who I've never met. It's briefly flattering when you first find yourself; but I wish the pictures weren't there.

Witness protection? (1)

MikeCT (686254) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362155)

This could become a nightmare for those in witness protection. Photo of Mr X in his original town. Automatically recognized and tagged photo of Mr X in town Y, hundreds of miles away.

Unnecessary and Unconstitutional (4, Interesting)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362391)

Not only is this suggestion a really bad idea it seems pretty obviously unconstitutional. Rather than giving any serious consideration to the question of whether likenesses of ourselves taken in public deserve protection the paper reads more like something a student would write trying to create an impressive paper. After all everyone realizes that our loss of privacy is a bad thing so lets propose changing the law to fix it, right?

Sure, our loss of anonymity can have some harmful consequences as the anecdotes in the paper illustrate but this doesn't mean they can't convey important information. I mean on first glance the story about the republican congressman whose daughter was seen kissing another girl on facebook might appear to illustrate a harm of our loss of privacy, and it certainly was a harm to the congressmen, but I would argue it was actually a benefit to society. If that congressman didn't get elected because people found out what he was really like (more tolerant than they suspected) then it was a win for the country.

Ultimately all this technology does is let us effectively say who did what when. Surely it wouldn't be right or constitutional to ban the news media from telling us about the picture of the congressman's daughter. Nor is it acceptable to outlaw any particular act of saying who is in what picture, that is quite squarely inside the domain of free speech. Yet if free speech protects my right to tag each individual photo then it would be a very troubling precedent to set to say it doesn't protect my right to organize those tags in an accessible way. I mean just think of the problems you would get into just trying to catalog the CSPAN archive to indicate which congressmen were doing what when.

More generally while the short term effect of a loss of anonymity in public might be immediate harms in the long term we will eventually discover that everyone does stupid shit and crosses sexual and religious lines. Hopefully the ultimate effect of this loss of anonymity will be to eliminate the double standard which allows everyone to say swears, have naughty/kinky sex, and make blasphemous/non-PC remarks but gives any public official caught doing it hell.

Of course it is scary to lose a protection that has kept us safe for so long but the truth of the matter is that anonymity in public is eroding no matter what we do about it. We can either choose to embrace the good consequences along with the bad by allowing search engines and tagging sites that set up a level playing field for everyone or we can choose a system where those with enough money and lawyers get to keep their anonymity while the rest of society does not. However, that's the worst of all options because it isn't really the loss of anonymity that's harmful but the unequal loss of anonymity. If someone at your office finds pictures of just you getting drunk and doing stupid thats awful, if they can find pictures of a large fraction of the employees it's just amusing.

--

Note: purposeful anonymous commentary, e.g., anonymous blogs, are a totally different subject and should be preserved.

Re:Unnecessary and Unconstitutional (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362647)

Got to love Slashdot where an IANAL can tell the HARVARD (!) Law Review what is unconstitutional.

Re:Unnecessary and Unconstitutional (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362709)

purposeful anonymous commentary, e.g., anonymous blogs, are a totally different subject and should be preserved.

This seems somewhat convenient and smells of hypocrisy. Of course it is a different issue. I just find it somewhat ironic that you _purposefully_ conclude with that remark.

It sticks out like a sore thumb :)

EU Data Protection Directive (1)

LeRandy (937290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362557)

This is why, in the EU, it is an offence to collect "Personal Data" without consent, except where there is a legal, contractual or public interest reason for collecting and processing the data.

In addition there are requirements that a data controller has to inform a subject of what the data is to be used for, and to whom it will be given, regardless of whether the subject gave the data or a 3rd party did (except in the case of some law enforcement). The data controller should ensure your personal data is as accurate as possible.
There are requirements that the data not be stored for a period longer than is necessary to perform the processing, and that you can always refuse your data to be used for marketing. You also have the right to appeal any automated decisions made with the data. You have a right that your data is held securely, and the directive clearly states that a company holding data should be aware of the "state of the art" of security procedures, providing cost is not prohibitive.
You can't export personal data to a country that doesn't provide equivalent legal protections (e.g. the USA), regardless of any contract between companies.
And finally, there is a right to judicial remedy if the directive is breached by a company, including compensation.

I note that a normal person is not bound by the directive, but any EU-based organisation storing such data is (company, charity etc.).

I am pretty sure (IANAL) that if organisations like Polar Rose worked out of the EU, any personal data they collected would count as controlled data, regardless of who supplied it to them, and they would have a duty to inform the subject etc.

EU Directive 95/46/EC

Article 1: (part)
1. In accordance with this Directive, Member States shall protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data.

Article 2: (part)
(a) 'personal data 'shall mean any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'); an identifiable person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity;

Article 7:
Member States shall provide that personal data may be processed only if:
(a) the data subject has unambiguously given his consent; or
(b) processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract; or
(c) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject; or
(d) processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject; or
(e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller or in a third party to whom the data are disclosed; or
(f) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where such interests are overridden by the interests for fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection under Article 1 (1).

I was WHAT??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363475)

tagged in a photo?!?!?

give me back my SOUL!!!

Riya? (1)

harmonica (29841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363829)

Only slightly related, but what happened to Riya, the software used to identify faces once a face has at least once been tagged with a name? I think there was an outcry about the potential implications, and then I never heard about it again. Their web site looks like the last time I checked one or two years ago. I'd like to have something like that for my private photo collection locally.

I know Riya is mentioned in the article, but it doesn't seem to answer my question.

Need I remind you people (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364933)

The constitution of the United States does not explicitly define privacy as a right. Courts have decided somewhat haphazardly that you have certain expectations of privacy in certain situations (like when you are in your own house with all the doors shut and windows covered). However if you have your photo taken in a public place then you have no right to tell people what t do with that photo. They can tag it, sell it to a tabloid, use it to create a parody of you or just post it everywhere on the net that will take it. This is all true because the Constitution of the United States does protect the freedom of the press. This freedom at its core exists to protect the people from the government and make sure information and Truth is always free to be distibuted. Therefore, newsworthy or not your ugly mug can be posted, tagged and flaunted all over the net as long as the shot was taken in public or a public setting and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.
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