A Primer on Tagging People in Pictures for Photo-Sharing Apps

Unlike anything we’ve seen since the convergence of digital photography, an historic threat is underway. It is causing the leading photo-sharing apps to be embroiled in, and under fire by tagging people in pictures. Facebook ‘faces’ an escalation in the multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit over whether the photo-sharing social media app illegally violated users’ privacy by sharing pictures without explicit consent. 

As a 30-year technologist innovator and disruptor in the photo imaging industry, ScanMyPhotos champions the need for MORE data collection restrictions, algorithmic controls and auditing transparency requirements for Facebook on how it harvests photo data [“Why Not to Upload Pictures to Facebook]. But, in the case of photo-tagging, we stand with Facebook. 


ScanMyPhotos.com digitized more than 600 million pictures, many are uploaded to the popular photo-sharing sites

ScanMyPhotos.com supports the benefits and legitimacy of biometric image-recognition tools. This guest commentary in Adweek by ScanMyPhotos’ CEO, Mitch Goldstone explains in detail why this matters.

Storytelling cannot be accomplished without implementing photo-tagging, image recognition technology.  This technology is the lifeblood and centerpiece of sharing and tagging pictures.

Since the dawn of photography, analog photo tagging predated biometric facial-recognition.

image1 300x143 - A Primer on Tagging People in Pictures for Photo-Sharing AppsBefore reading this report. An update. ScanMyPhotos.com professionally digitizes all your photos this fast.

While we have scanned six hundred million images, it is news stories like these that made us so popular, but no order is more precious or important than yours. We are here to help. For loads of photo tips, news updates, and crazy-discounted deals, sign up to receive free updates.

While the practice of “photobombing” has become a social and cultural phenomenon lately, the practice itself isn’t anything new. Since the advent of the camera, people have either intentionally tried to appear in someone else’s photos or have accidentally stumbled into the frame. Now, with biometric facial recognition (BFR) algorithms, companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook are able to identify these “photobombing” faces across the web—yet, this smart way to organize and share pictures is dredging up privacy concerns.

Peter Blumberg and Stephanie Bodoni at Bloomberg wrote: “Facebook Has a Long History of Resolving Privacy Claims on the Cheap.”

phototagging biometric facial recognition story by ScanMyPhotos.com 2 300x200 - A Primer on Tagging People in Pictures for Photo-Sharing Apps“When you consider the 3.5 trillion analog photos and billions of more recent digital pictures in existence, our images—in some form or another—may be entrapped in a stranger’s photo album without consent. If a person walks through the background of a tourist’s snapshot, facial recognition software may recognize the face and tag the person’s name to that picture.

That photo can then be shared across the internet—with the person’s name attached, and without their permission to share it,” said Mitch Goldstone, president & CEO, ScanMyPhotos.com.

Excerpt by the IQS Directory: Are We Really Okay With Facial Recognition?

  • When most people think ‘facial recognition,’ their minds probably drift to the latest iPhone security feature, which lets you unlock your phone by looking at it (and theoretically makes it impossible for anyone but you to unlock). But, facial recognition appeared long before it debuted on iPhones, and now its applications are much wider–and potentially more controversial.

Think back to the time you logged into Facebook and learned that it would now automatically ‘suggest’ tags in photos uploaded onto the social media website. It was an uncanny, giddy moment– “How does it know that’s so and so?!” And it did it consistently, quickly, and with scary accuracy.

The new-tech euphoria quickly wore off as you realized that, somewhere in Silicon Valley, there were developers, apps, and computers that could quickly scan a photo and determine exactly who was in it.

Many countries are already using deep data collection using facial recognition without the risk of litigation. Take the surveillance cameras sitting atop over 100,000 lampposts in Singapore to instantly recognize faces in crowds, or similar systems in place at casinos, yet privacy concerns abound.

While the privacy implications are concerning, there are also more incontrovertible benefits to this technology. The ability to detect a person’s image in the background of a photo could help historians make a number of connections. If, for example, an individual is researching his personal family ancestry, facial recognition could help him find photos of his great, great-grandmother smiling in a (seemingly) complete strangers’ photo.

phototagging biometric facial recognition story by ScanMyPhotos.com 4 300x201 - A Primer on Tagging People in Pictures for Photo-Sharing Apps“Helping to electronically organize photographs is a critical issue. It is enjoyed by millions, and the benefits are staggeringly beneficial. With facial recognition technology, we can vastly improve tracking history through photos. This is why we are rallying consumers, the tech and photo industries to also support this advocacy campaign,” said Goldstone.

This (Sept 21, 2017) Chicago Tribune story by Ally Marotti, provides smart insights and an update on the litigation against Shutterfly. Excerpt:

That has been one of the most-watched suits taking on the biometrics issue. Three Illinois men allege Facebook was collecting, storing and using biometric data without consent. Facebook’s attempt to get the lawsuit dismissed was denied. Some say these types of lawsuits allege damage without evidence of actual harm.

phototagging biometric facial recognition story by ScanMyPhotos.com 5 300x200 - A Primer on Tagging People in Pictures for Photo-Sharing AppsAs these antiquated privacy laws are being challenged, leading tech-industry giants like Facebook and Google Photos hail new facial-recognition tools to help identify pictures. Restricting this collection and storage of biometric “faceprint” data falls outside the margins of intellectual property rules. The image-recognition tools are scanning photographs, not actually biometric face and body scans. It is just identifying people, places and things within vintage photographs.

This is different from other uses of biometrics, such as iBeacon which uses smartphone transmissions to identify people and send them marketing messages. Tagging a person in a photograph should not be considered in violation of privacy rights. There is no malice or intent to harm anyone by identifying physical characteristics, but rather a fun and easy way to organize your lifetime of photo memories.

Yet, while we could argue both sides of the debate, there are several smart solutions that could be used to protect people’s privacy.

5 Solutions to the Photo-Tagging Controversy

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1) When collecting and retaining biometric identifiers, people should have an easy way to opt-out. A simple one-touch button should be accessible on every electrically stored picture to permanently and universally remove and untag your images if identified within that photograph.

2) Strengthen the terms of service and privacy policy and transfer any obligation to those uploading pictures rather than the utility hosting them.

3) Have a manual, rather than automatic opt-in/opt-out enrollment policy for people to easily select using a facial-recognition program.

4) Prohibit the trading, selling or profiting from any biometric information that violates Terms of Service privacy provisions.

5) From the new class-action litigation regarding photo-tagging, Facebook and others must provide an option for free data wiping to resolve this photo tagging issue.

While we are advocates of biometrics and the capabilities it has to offer—particularly in terms of photo organization and history preservation—we are opening up the dialogue so others can voice their support as well.

ScanMyPhotos.comLogo 300x100 - A Primer on Tagging People in Pictures for Photo-Sharing AppsAbout the author: ScanMyPhotos, founded in 1990, is an e-commerce photo digitization service that scanned more than 500 million analog pictures. To help organize and identify these lifetimes of newly digitized pictures, people are widely enjoying photo-sharing services and the magic-like assistance from image-recognition tools, and which we fully support its use.

It is nearly magic as we can digitize more than 300,000 each day. Here is how our banks of professional photo digitizing equipment scans your photos from our Irvine, Calif headquarters. Click to watch.

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New Photo Scanning Affiliate Revenue Sharing Marketplace

Welcome to the new photo scanning marketplace to earn money by promoting photo and 35mm slide digitization services.

IMG 2197 300x140 - New Photo Scanning Affiliate Revenue Sharing MarketplaceScanMyPhotos, headquartered in Irvine, CA and founded in 1990 has digitized 600 million images and is now sharing our services with you to promote. You can score income from each new order referred by you.  We are recruiting a limited number of highly reputable organizations with a history of extraordinary business practices to partner with.

Your invitation to work with the pioneer of high volume photo digitization

After years of being asked whether ScanMyPhotos provides an affiliate performance-based marketing program, we researched and have designed a phenomenal program for you.

How the ScanMyPhotos Photo Scanning Marketplace Works:

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  • You share the custom links with people to order from ScanMyPhotos. The two designated services are for our most popular products — photographic and 35mm slide scanning prepaid fill-the-box online ordering.
  • Once approved, ScanMyPhotos will design custom branded order pages with your name and logo and “recommended by” message
  • You promote, publish and share the links on your blog, newsletter and through other social media channels that have been approved by ScanMyPhotos.
  • Confirmed (conversion) orders referred by you are entered into your accounts gallery. An agreed revenue sharing percentage is then sent to you quarterly. There is a minimum payment threshold of $50 for payments. If lower, the credit is applied to the next scheduled payment.
  • Orders are trackable and there is no setup expense to you.

photostack1 300x225 - New Photo Scanning Affiliate Revenue Sharing MarketplaceOnce approved, you will receive quarterly payments for each confirmed sale for every completed order referred by you from the customized branded photo and slide scanning links. Commission payments exclude returns, credits, applicable sales tax. Void where prohibited and certain limitations may apply.

How to apply to receive your own branded page to share and start earning money?  Send an email to Support (at) ScanMyPhotos.com – Subject: “request affiliate marketing registration”

ScanMyPhotos is the vendor and advertiser. By having us create a unique landing page, you are the publisher to share and promote the two digitization services to your members, subscribers, and followers.

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How To Restore Old Photos: Pay One Price Photo Restoration

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Among your generations of photo snapshots, do you also have those extra-special family heirlooms that are fading away, torn or need a major makeover? ScanMyPhotos.com and its photo restoration experts do magic.

image1 300x143 - How To Restore Old Photos: Pay One Price Photo RestorationBefore reading this report. An update. ScanMyPhotos.com professionally digitizes all your photos this fast.

While we have scanned six hundred million images, it is news stories like these that made us so popular, but no order is more precious or important than yours. We are here to help. For loads of photo tips, news updates, and crazy-discounted deals, sign up to receive free updates.

Results of a Damaged Photo Restored at ScanMyPhotos.com

Awhile back, USA Today’s Jefferson Graham visited with us and had ScanMyPhotos.com digitally restore a photo that meant the world to his wife. She shared such a powerful story about why this tattered and torn photo needed to come back to life. All restoration stories are equally as emotional ar2 - How To Restore Old Photos: Pay One Price Photo Restorationnd the reason why the photo imaging business is so enjoyable and important.

For more info on ScanMyPhotos.com and the Photo Restoration services, click here.

Click here to view more ScanMyPhotos.com photo restoration samples.


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[Picture restoration for Jefferson Graham]

Let us restore and enhance your vintage photographs into works of art to be enjoyed and preserved for generations. Old pictures fade and degrade with time. Fix old and damaged photos with our custom professional Kodak-quality photo restoration today from 30 Minute Photo Etc. Since 1990, our customers have trusted us with all their photographic and now digital imaging services. You are about to find out why.

Any photo restoration is now only $39.95, with a 20-day turnaround. Faster turn-around times available at an additional cost (see below). Additional print sizes on Kodak photo paper are available. Add tax for CA residents only (7.75%). All major credit cards accepted. Due to the custom nature of this work, no discounts, online gift certificates, or promo codes are valid for any restoration work.

See a few samples of before and after.
Results of a Damaged Photo Restored at ScanMyPhotos.com
Find out how easy it is to have your photos restored.


Ready to order and upload your images, click here. This is also ideal for restoring those special pictures that were recently scanned by ScanMyPhotos.com
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Instructions For “Professional Pay Per Photo Scanning

Welcome to ScanMyPhotos,

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No promo code is needed to access and instantly order professional -pay-per-scanning services.

The Latest Innovation From ScanMyPhotos

This new service is now the centerpiece of our latest photo imaging innovation. And we have had many over the past 30 years. This link transports you to some of the feature news stories and reviews on how we do our magic to have digitized 600 million images. But, no order is more important than yours.

propps2 300x145 - Instructions For "Professional Pay Per Photo Scanning

Just before you begin your journey to revisit all your precious pre-digital photos.

Prior to ordering any “Pay Per Scan” order please review and follow these below terms and instructions for preparing your pictures. We have live support, Twitter private direct messaging, email and call center phone support for you. Click for contact information.

Click For Instant Ordering



  • $25 order minimum is charged when ordering and credited towards your order total, but not applied towards return S/H charges. Non-refundable and no refund for unused balance or retroactive discounts after your order is placed. 
  • Recommended: Order add-on extra services to enhance your order
  • Cannot be applied towards ANY prior orders 
  • indexcard - Instructions For "Professional Pay Per Photo ScanningScan In Order: If you watch this “how to prepare photos video” you see we recommend index cards to identify and separate each batch of pictures by category. This requires you to add “scan in order.” If you use ANY index cards, dividers or want pictures NOT to be randomly digitized, you must choose the “scanning in order” upgrade. Otherwise, your pictures (even if there are index cards included) are randomly scanned and not in any order.
  • Mail order only. Absolutely NO walk-in order will be honored
  • Pictures for this service must be received at ScanMyPhotos within 30 days. For our “Pay Per Scan” service, your shipment must be postmarked within 30 days of the purchase date. If you need additional time to send your photos in, you can purchase a 2-month extension for $24.95
  • Standard turnaround is 2-4 weeks, but instant same-day express scanning is available (see featured add-on services and rates)
  • Voided at any time without obligation and restrictions may apply
  • Does not include applicable sales tax or return S/H.
  • You are responsible for paying to mail the photos to us and paying for return S/H. All photo are returned with your order. 
  • We do not send you a box, you mail your photos in your box.
  • Not valid towards ANY other services, coupons, vouchers, promo codes or other discounts
  • Maximum photos scanned per customer/order/address is 10,000
  • Click here for a list of all the featured add-on services to add to your order

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No curled sticky or bent photos, please.


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How to Donate to The National Photo Preservation Project

Please join us to help preserve our nation’s photo treasures. Purchase online e-Gift certificates in denominations from $25 – $10,000 from ScanMyPhotos. Donate to your favorite archivist organization to help preserve their generations of photo imaging memories 

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Why and how you can help: Order ScanMyPhotos online e-gift certificates to forward and donate to your local library, historical society, university, and other photo archivists to support their photo digitization projects.


Buy ScanMyPhotos e-Gift Certificates Today to Share and Donate. The organizations can then redeem the e-Gift certificates to help fund their digitization projects.

Join our nationwide initiative campaign to support and make a gift donation today to your local library, university, historical society, and others to help preserve their photo archives.

IMG 2062 300x184 - How to Donate to The National Photo Preservation ProjectIMG 2063 300x300 - How to Donate to The National Photo Preservation Project Many local and national organizations are undertaking extensive photo digitization projects.

While we have become good at helping to preserve your family’s history, now we are breaching out to local libraries, historical societies and cities across the nation to help preserve their photo archives too. But, we need your help.

eGiftCertificate - How to Donate to The National Photo Preservation ProjectPurchase any denomination online e-gift certificates from ScanMyPhotos and forward to your favorite preservation and historical society, public library, university, and others in your name to help preserve their decades of archived images, 35mm slides, film negatives, and 8mm movie film now. More information on ScanMyPhotos

Please share this link with others to inspire many to also get involved to help digitally preserve nostalgic Americana history.


Follow along. We have compiled this below list of national news profiles for many digitization projects to reveal how they are helping to preserve our nation’s history.

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