New App Helps with Online Photo Privacy

Drew Rattray : Design vs. Functionality
Drew Rattray
| News and views on design vs. functionality balance across the communications and technology space.

New App Helps with Online Photo Privacy

freindbo.jpgA good majority of us are on Facebook, MySpace, or some other online social network.  For whatever reason, it has become very important to let everyone in cyberspace know what we've done, what we're doing, and what we're going to do, and we of course have the pictures to prove it.  Sad to say, I'm guilty of it as well.

One of the biggest problems with the functionality of these networks is that it is extremely difficult to shut off areas of your profile to certain people without hindering the possibility of someone else finding you or viewing what you did today (which is the whole point of the network).

On many profiles there are definitely party pictures shared for your friends to see, that you do not want your employers or parents finding.  There are also embarassing work picnic pictures your co-workers tag you in, that you may not want your friends to see.  No one wants to create a profile for each possible social group in their life, or manage whitelists, blacklists, passwords, etc.

Enter Friendbo: Technology for a new spectrum of social sharing. Friendbo is a new technology developed by students at University of Washington which allows you to upload pictures to a photo group and protect that group with a question. Just like real socializing, the security strength placed on your photos depends on the question.

For example, regarding my embarrassing Halloween Costume Contest photos at TMC (which I won by the way), I might protect that photo group with: "What 'For Dummies' book is in my cubicle at TMC?" Most of my work colleagues could view the photos, and my family and friends would never get the chance to laugh at them.

Read more about the project here.


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