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Take control of your photos

Updated

By Rom Feria

Ever since digital photography became affordable, I invested in getting a digital camera, and from then on, I continuously upgraded to the next model that I could afford. I have shared hundreds, if not thousands, of photos to date, mostly to family and friends, with quite a number to the public, via photo sharing sites, like Flickr. To this day, I still have a Flickr Pro account, and I am hopeful of the changes and improvements that will come from its new parent, Smugmug.
Privacy Issue
A few years ago, I noticed a trend from social network sites, such as Google+, Facebook and Instagram, of collecting personal data. From then on, I started deleting family photos, restricting access to only a select few (after removing EXIF data), and completely quitting Google+, Facebook and Instagram. However, the need to share photos never waned.
iCloud Shared Album
I use an iPhone, an iPad, and a Mac, so the most natural service to use is iCloud. iCloud comes with a way to privately and securely share albums. This is my default method of sharing photos of kids. Their grandmothers both have iOS devices, so it makes it even more convenient.
This solution, however, does not work cross-platform, i.e., there is no support for non-Apple devices.

IMG_0686
Textile Photos
Recently, I discovered this new, next-generation photo sharing services, Textile Photos. Unlike iCloud and Flickr (and Instagram, Facebook, Google Photos), Textile Photos uses a next-generation file system called Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a fully distributed, secure and encrypted service. Basically, there is no central server that hosts your photos, which means that the likes of Facebook and Google will not be able to use it to collect more data about you, nor use your photos to train their facial recognition algorithms. Each photo that you share and distribute on IPFS is encrypted using your personal key, and shared securely, with each of your authorized recipients. If you want to know more about the underlying IPFS technology, check out ipfs.io.

Feriasaa

Textile Photos screenshots (on-boarding)
If you wish to access it, let me know via https://twitter.com/rom, I can give you an access code.

Flickr
Flickr still remains as my main public photo sharing site. I have limited my use of Flickr when it was still part of Yahoo!, but with Smugmug now owning it, their future looks bright. I started to actively use it again.
Google Photos, Instagram, Facebook
These are the most popular services to share your photos. I urge you to stop using them for privacy reasons. These services use your photos to learn more about you (creating an online persona that is used to target you with advertisements), and to train their facial recognition algorithms, among other things. And ask your friends not to post your photos, or tag you (best way is to quit Facebook, Instagram and Google).
Final Tip
And one last, but very important tip that I can share, is to stop posting photos of your children, young nieces and nephews, young grandchildren, without their consent. If they still cannot give their consent, the best way is neverpost their photos, specially on social networks, or for public consumption.

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