Good analysis of Facebook photo sync feature

Sophos' Graham Cluley outlines nine privacy points to consider when using Facebook's new photo sync feature.

My old friend Graham Cluley at Sophos has written a pretty good outline of nine things to consider when using Facebook's new photo sync feature.

The full analysis is on the Naked Security blog, but I thought I'd share some nuggets here.

For those who haven't heard about it, Facebook's new feature automatically syncs photos you take on your mobile device with your Facebook account. It's available for iPhone, iPad and Android users. As Cluley writes, "This removes the nuisance of having to manually choose which photos to upload."

I'm skittish about turning the feature on simply because I want to keep a tight rein on the images that go from phone to Facebook. Having to post pics individually forces me to be more disciplined about what I post. Facebook appears to address some of that concern but I usually prefer to wait before latching onto a new feature.

If you do choose to embrace it, Cluley suggests you keep nine things in mind. I'll post four of his points here. I'd post all nine, but I want you to visit his page, which includes some useful screen images.

  • Point 1: Facebook hasn't turned it on by default. Chances are that your first knowledge of it will be when you access Facebook on your iOS or Android device, and are encouraged to"Get started."
  • Point 6: Automatic uploading of every photo you take means every photo you take. Yes, including the ones you took for that guy you're flirting with, or the one you snapped of that part of your body you can't quite see properly with a mirror.
  • Point 7: Every photograph synced from your phone will be able to be mined for information by Facebook. Photos taken on mobile devices can include meta data such as the location where the photo was taken - and this could be used to determine where you are, and help Facebook display localised advertising.
  • Point 8: You are no longer in charge of what photos you upload to Facebook. In the past, you could decide what images you uploaded to the social network, and which pictures it could analyse for its own purposes. Now, all photos - good and bad - will be available to Facebook. That doesn't mean anyone apart from you and Facebook's servers will be able to see them, but there's clearly a reduction in your level of control.
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