As the scandal escalates to 87 million compromised users, until the growing privacy concerns are resolved, ScanMyPhotos recommends Against uploading pictures to Facebook
We are rooting for Facebook, the social networking company, but they must first restore its forfeited trust with an impenetrable fix to all data breaches. Until then, ScanMyPhotos.com is urging all, including its worldwide customers who had pictures digitized to delete them from Facebook.
Founded in 1990, ScanMyPhotos, based in Irvine, Calif. has digitized more than 500 million pictures. As longtime advocates on important consumer and social issues, the company is urging every Facebook user to delete their account and not upload any pictures. However, we are supportive of Facebook regarding how it tags photographs.
ScanMyPhotos is an unaffiliated content provider for all photo-sharing app innovators, including the behemoth Facebook platform. Yet, the photographic data that was digitized, then uploaded may become a doormat for data breaches. Will it be used by advertisers who wield the market power to control content, often without any awareness by Facebook’s unsuspecting users? Another looming issue is the tagging of photos without users’ consent.
Cambridge Analytica LLC, the British-based data mining company accused of exploiting and improperly obtaining personal information from upwards of 87 million Facebook users underscores an alarming practice. With $40 billion in 2017 advertising revenues, Facebook is everywhere and boasts 2 billion monthly users. One-quarter of all people use the platform which leads to lots of eyeballs, yet may be unsecured from fraud and misappropriating content shared by its users.
“Protecting the privacy of customers is the core of everything we do at ScanMyPhotos, yet Facebook let us and every user down. As loyalist advocates, we had recommended people upload their newly digitized pictures to post and share on Facebook,” said Mitch Goldstone, President & CEO of the e-commerce photo digitization service.
As Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to appear at a House Committee hearing on April 11 to discuss data privacy, we have a question. Does Facebook keep the metadata information from all the uploaded pictures? if so, is this another privacy issue and opportunity for more data breaches? Do they market and sell this information? Ever since its epic data breach, we have been troubled. They indirectly built our business — most of the 500 million pictures digitized by ScanMyPhotos were uploaded by customers to the Facebook platform. As one of Facebook’s first loyalist advocates — they spotlighted the need to digitize old photos to upload — now it’s principles over profits. While Facebook does filter out EXIF and geotagging data when users upload pictures as part of its data retention, is all that private metadata coding information still retained by them? If so, what does Facebook do with it?
Among the officially posted Facebook data policies are:
Things you do and information you provide. We collect the content and other information you provide when you use our Services, including when you sign up for an account, create or share, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide, such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. We also collect information about how you use our Services, such as the types of content you view or engage with or the frequency and duration of your activities.
The problem with Facebook goes beyond making sure this does not happen again. It must be regulated, just as all other advertising is, and they must also lead with an “honest ads act” transparency law.
Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg in Cambridge, MA, the CEO said: “privacy issues have always been incredibly important to people. One of our biggest responsibilities is to protect data.”
In response, Goldstone explained that “the social-media advertising company’s market power and priorities are misguided, as privacy must be their single biggest imperative. This is why they are now embroiled in this historic controversy. Facebook’s unsuspecting users are just the product, as the advertisers have become the customers.”
Few ever read or understand the legal terms of service contract prior to hypnotically clicking to approve. What happens to the uploaded pictures? Will a forensic audit of the firm reveal whether not just users’ background information, but their content and pictures may have been exploited and breached?
While Mr. Zuckerberg agrees to rectify the lost trust, he hasn’t “seen a meaningful number of people act on that [Delete Facebook campaign].” ScanMyPhotos hopes to get on their radar along with millions of others to create a movement to help restore trust. However, the advertising-supported business model, where users are the product is broken. According to Brian X. Chen, lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times, deleting Facebook is just the beginning as they own many other apps which are under its umbrella, including WhatsApp and Instagram. Closing your account may take days to process. For many, especially businesses, it is not so easy to delete Facebook as it has become a primary means to conduct commerce.
From an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Deepa Seetharaman: Zuckerberg says the Facebook probe into apps won’t uncover all data abuse and the company will investigate tens of thousands of apps; describing the probe as a ‘deterrent’ rather than a solution. The correct answer is Facebook must create an impenetrable fix to guarantee a 100% solution. There are also easy ways to download and protect your Facebook data. This overview by NBC News’ Senior Business Reporter, Ben Popken explains how to copy your Facebook data and prevents apps from sharing your information.
In a 2009 interview with the BBC’s Laura Trevelyan, when asked “so just to be clear, you’re not going to sell, or share, any of the information,” Zuckerberg replied: “the person who’s putting the content on Facebook always owns it… This is their information and they own it. What the terms say is just, we’re not going to share people’s information.”
The Zuckerberg “I’m sorry” apology tour just does not cut it. This problem occurred three years ago.
Until their public responsibility is resolved and trust restored, ScanMyPhotos presses upon users to #DeleteFacebook.
BONUS: It is nearly magic as we digitize upwards of 300,000 each day. Here is how our banks of professional photo digitizing equipment scans your photos this quickly from our Irvine, Calif headquarters. Click to watch