Trust in photo management is the key to keeping photos safe - pixevety

Trust in photo management is the key to keeping photos safe

 In General

Technology that credibly communicates privacy commitments can inspire trust in protecting a customer’s digital footprint. However, many tech companies still don’t seem to care much about privacy, and happily continue to exploit our personal data to make a quick buck!

And just because these companies publish Terms, and a Privacy Policy, it doesn’t mean they have our best interests at heart. In fact, they feel justified they can do what they do because they have at least “told us” their plan (to exploit our data), so everything is should be hunky-dory, right? Completely not right. Please spend time reading the fine details before signing up to anything online – and I mean anything, including Instagram, TikTok, Google…don’t just think about what you get out of it today, but the impact on your future.

That’s my advice coming into Privacy Awareness Week (PAW May 2-8, 2022), an annual event across Australia that highlights the importance of protecting personal information to help organisations, agencies and the public navigate the privacy landscape. My company has been a sponsor of PAW since 2017, and every year I take this opportunity to share my thoughts on its annual theme – this year the theme is TRUST.

Why is trust so important?

“Strong data protection and privacy rights are both necessary to uphold our human right to dignity in the digital age, and a precondition for consumer confidence and economic growth.”

OAIC submission in response to the Attorney General’s Issues Paper, December 2020.

I believe so strongly that privacy is a human right, especially for children who are now growing up in both a physical and “digital” world, that I started to build a business around privacy for children back in 2012.

At the time, many called me insane – “No one cares about privacy” – but standing strong to my values our team has built a trusted school photo management and sharing platform that mimics best practices in privacy-by-design (PbD) engineering (also incorporates trust-by-design) so our kids can gain more control over their digital footprints.

Everyday we share or publish more than 3.2 billion photos and 720,000 hours of videos – majority featuring people – via public digital channels. With tighter regulation, there is hope this would encourage better privacy practice by organisations, but only last week I read the US Ninth Circuit of Appeals – in a case involving LinkedIn trying to stop a rival company from web scraping public profiles – made the activity of scrapping publicly accessible data, legal. This should scare everyone, and we should all now be very, very careful about what we share and publish online about ourselves or our family, especially photos and videos.

How can trust be built?

Repeating Uncle Ben’s wise words to Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility”, a core component of responsibility is in building trust – defined as a moral obligation to behave correctly towards, or in respect of.

Working with hundreds of schools over the last 10 years, our company has emerged out of a global pandemic into a sweet spot of privacy protection that many big techs find hard to copy as PbD is extremely difficult to “bolt on” later. If done well, PbD becomes the essence of a true privacy-driven product – and our technology has been exclusively designed to help filter images on consent in real-time before sharing or publishing online. Build trust from within, and the rest will follow!

From a school’s perspective…

If there’s one thing that schools globally have learned coming out of a pandemic, it is that a school’s duty of care must extend beyond the physical to the digital world, and that managing, and publishing children’s photos taken at school is vital for both compliance and student/community safety.

It is essential that schools start making the right ethical choices when it comes technology use. They need to stop making decisions based on 1) cost-savings (yes, publishing on social media is cheap but look at the potential damage that can come in its wake) or, 2) how much money can be made from selling or marketing student photos.

The protection of the school’s personal data must always be top of mind. The school must have fully read and agree to the provider’s Terms and Privacy Policy (and those of third parties they use) before making any purchase. It is also important that the school’s data is not used for any other purpose than the original intention, and that the benefit for using the provider strongly outweighs any risks, especially when it comes to the handling of personal (and possibly sensitive) information of children, as they will be representing your school brand and reputation. To learn more, feel free to read my article on how to better understand the Terms.

From a personal perspective…

At every opportunity when personal information is collected – if it’s not clear, ask or read the Terms of the company to find out:

  • how your information will be used?
  • why it is being collected?
  • who will have access to it?

It is important before signing up to any technology provider that you know your personal data is protected.

These small actions, used often, will help you to protect your data, build greater trust with the companies you choose to share your data with, and help deliver better services.

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Let privacy and trust be the core values that drive us through 2022 and beyond – our children will be the greatest benefactors if we do.

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