There was a great television ad campaign a couple of years back where photo subjects "talked" to digital camera owners, urging them to get their photos off their cameras and into frames. Remember the swimsuit-clad young man "captured" in the middle of a Cannonball jump into a pool? He implores his parents to free him from the confines of their camera.
If the ad series was successful, more and more of us are converting our megapixels into tangible bits of history. And there is proof that it might have been successful, at least in terms of getting us to offload our digital photos: Facebook says its users load 14 million photos to the site each day, and MySpace reports that its 110 million users have uploaded a combined 1.5 billion images.
Long gone are the days where we must flip over a yellow-edged 3x5 and decipher grandmother's crooked cursive to learn the subject of a photo. Today's viewing methods, like so many of our modern activities, are far more convenient. And with convenience comes costs. In this month's continuation of our ubiquitous identifiers series, we look at the practice of photo tagging--appending personal information to digital images--and its implications for privacy professionals.
Also this month we continue our series on health information technology by looking at a site dedicated to helping those of us afflicted with medical issues. The site gives patients a forum for sharing their experiences and learning from others with similar conditions. In his article, Larry Dobrow takes the temperature on the topic of Trusera.com. In an increasingly unfriendly healthcare environment, does the online community approach to recovery trump our concerns over sharing private medical information?
Lastly, be sure to check out Jay Cline's survey on European Union privacy reform. Jay asked privacy officers worldwide which parts of the Directive on Data Protection could use massaging. Their answers are still coming in, but hearty response so far has resulted in a five-part wish list for change.
Jay Cline, along with representatives from the Barr, McCain and Obama campaigns, will present at the IAPP Privacy Academy in Orlando, September 22-24. We hope to see you there.
J. Trevor Hughes, CIPP
Executive Director, IAPP