This is a place for me to ruminate about Privacy. Since I work as Google's Global Privacy Counsel, I need to point out that these ruminations are mine, not Google's. Please don't attribute them to Google.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Photos to the Web
I'm always amazed how many photos I find on the Web, of friends, family or myself, that none of us knew were there. Because things on the Web, in particular, photos, can last forever, forgetfulness is one of the big new themes in the privacy debate, particularly in Europe. There's lots of discussion about how to re-introduce a human concept of memory/forgetfulness/evanescence into a technical world of computers and websites and the Internet. I'll be joining a conference on this theme next week in Brussels.
I also joined a French government-sponsored conference on this theme recently in Paris. At the conference, much was said about the risks to people to having their photos posted online, without their knowledge or consent. With some sense of irony, I noticed a bunch of photos of me were published from that conference without my knowledge or consent, like the one here, in the online photo album of the Minister, no less,...I don't mind, and I would have happily consented, but it does make an interesting point, and I re-posted it to this blog, but that was my choice. If thoughtful people sitting in a conference about the problems of posting photos online are taking photos of people at the conference and posting them online, all without their knowledge or consent, well, maybe the sociology of online photo-sharing has developed beyond the state of the debate.