Social Media Photos and Privacy

Or maybe “user engagement” is a better way to describe how companies use photos you may have posted on Instagram or Twitter in online advertisements for their products.  For many companies using these photos on their websites or Instagram accounts is simply seen as a simpler and faster way to create a marketing campaign.  But this practice is now being scrutinized under the lens of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) in the U.S.

For use of photos of children under 13 years of age, verifiable parental consent must be obtained.  Advertisers, however, may not be aware of these requirements or simply choose to ignore them?   Parents may be contacted by some companies and paid for the use of the photos, but this practice does nor appear to be the general rule.   Some experts argue that this ambiguity is being driven by a growing thirst to document our daily lives on social media.

I am not so sure that I would like my daily life documented on social media.  If I did, would anyone really want to follow it, photos included.  I don’t really know, but as President Bush once said, maybe I am “misunderestimating” it?

Ray Myers


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