I have been testing out brightkite lately and I really only get to work with it if I am traveling (which I happen to be doing this week). I was in Logan today when I saw an interesting site. A woman traveling with me (someone I did not know) was also traveling with her dog. She had on a very interesting “Baby Bjorn” style doggie carrier. One that strapped around her back like a backpack. I thought it needed to be posted so I took a picture of it and posted.
Immediately, I sent it to brightkite hoping I would get some discussion out of it. I then received a notice back from brightkite stating that they could not post my picture. Being that brightkite is a rather new startup (and probably small in size) I thought that it would not be unlikely that my photo was censored because it was of a picture of someone I did not know (I am surel that the woman would not be happy knowing I took a picture of her and posted it for others to comment on). I waited a bit and then posted it again – with a different comment which was less descriptive and didn’t lead to any conclusions about my relationship with this woman (or lack there of). It took. So clearly, it was a glitch (or was it).
GPS based privacy(automated)
So then I got to thinking about the iPhone (which I do quite a bit) and specifically about the GPS capabilities of the phone. Many phones have GPS (my BlackJackII for instance does). But when you put so many people on the same framework (millions of them) you can start to see paths towards mass acceptance and change.
I started thinking about how this situation with the dog lady could be governed better with technology and I came up with this idea:
Phone users taking pictures in public places would be required to register the capture range for each of their photos/movies and privacy concerned individuals (with GPS enabled phones) could be notified when they may be appearing within a phone. If the privacy concerned person would be notified when a picture they were in was posted to a public web site. They would then get a link to that post, and have the ability to “flag” that photo as inappropriate and the original owner would be required to take it down.
Not saying we need to do this – but it might allow those individuals who are concerned about public exposure a means to handle that when they are either intentionally or accidentally included in a photo posted to a public web site.