A friend of mine has just purchased a brand new mobile phone which includes the facility to post images to his blog. In principle this seems like a really useful feature for those who what are into blogging. As blogging becomes mainstream then removing the technical barriers through such developments strikes me as a good thing.
The mobilementalism blog includes a post detailing such a phone - here's an extract:
"...a feature set that lets the user get the most from their mobile phone. The Picture Blog application allows the user to share photographs with friends and family, via an online ‘blogsite’, within just a few clicks."
There are of course many existing blog services which include the facility post images received by email to a blog but there's a fundamental difference... it's REALLY easy for a non-technical person to take a picture with their mobile phone and post it to the Internet.
I can't help being concerned that people will infringe the privacy of those around them (and perhaps themselves) by snapping away at inappropriate times and in inappropriate places.
I know that I've sent the odd text to friends that I've questioned the wisdom of afterwards. Posting to the Internet is different in that not only is the audience potentially much larger but there isn't a "DELETE" button - it's possible that someone may have taken a copy of your content the moment it's posted. Posting images that include other people ups the stakes considerably especially if alchohol is involved:
Note: Thanks to Rob for the image.
As a minimum the "photographer" should ask for the consent of everyone in the image before posting it. Whether they're in the best state of mind to make a sensible decision may be another matter.
Most blog hosting engines provide the means to limit access to a group of authorised people - this can be a useful means of respecting people's privacy.
If taking pictures at a party then by all means use this feature to post pictures but do so AFTERWARDS when everyone has had time to consider whether they are happy to be seen by those who weren't there at the time.
I'm concerned as so many teenagers already post a great deal of sensitive information on the Internet - the facility to immediately post pictures on the Internet from a mobile phone could compound this problem.
We need to raise awareness (somehow) of how to respect the privacy of others (and ourselves) when embracing these exciting technologies.
Any suggestions of how to do so would be appreciated via comments to this post.
Rule 1. Alcohol makes things seem like a really good idea at the time.
1. Get all mobile phone autoblogs to be approved by sender first - aka "Are you sure?". Hmm, see rule 1.
2. Stop anyone under the age of 30 from blogging from phones. I'm over 30 - see rule 1.
ok, I could go on. Steve, its simply not going to work. Like riding a motorbike too fast, crossing the road without looking, smoking, bungee jumping and so on. "Progress" = "danger". Invasion of privacy is a small price to pay to get teenage drunks onto the Internet and into their rooms for the whole of the following day, away from us seasoned professionals.
You'd have more chance banning alcohol. And please don't try that.