Keeping Things Private in a Public World


Jennifer Preston
Lynne Seitz
Angela Santomero
Vicky Colf

Brought to you by, outmywindow, an all-in-one private way to share and save your photos.

Jennifer: My name is Jennifer Preston and I'm a reporter for the New York Times. Welcome everyone to Keeping Things Private in the Digital World. What we're going to talk about today is how do you take control of your information and your family's information and how do you make sure that what you're sharing is what you want to share right now and what you are happy and delighted that you shared ten years from now or 20 years from now. Let me introduce these three, fabulous, terrific women who are joining us in this conversation. What we're going to do is everyone is going to take a couple of minutes and chat a little bit about their area of expertise and I'm going to toss some question. But then we want to open up this discussion to all of you and make sure that we are addressing your questions and concerns.

So let me begin at the very end, we have Lynne Seitz who is VP for location product marketing for Telecommunications Systems which is a leading provider of mobile solutions, applications including Verizon's Family Locator and VZNavigator. Lynne is going to set the table for this conversation by walking us through to some of the issues and challenges regarding geolocation. We know that this is a very sophisticated digital audience and everyone knows how to manage their Facebook privacy settings for sure, but I think that geolocation for us who are in this space regularly presents a lot of challenges and questions so Lynne will help us address those.

And then next we have Angela Santomero who is the founding partner of Out of the Blue Enterprises and is the creator, executive producer and head writer of the number one interactive literacy show, Super Why? Angela was the co-creator, executive produce and head writer for Nick Jr's landmark preschool show, Blue's Clues. Which I can tell you my twins? They were allowed to watch that.

And sitting next to me, we have Vicky Colf who is the Vice President of Digital for Warner who has a new app called outmywindow that seeks to address some of these privacy issues that we're going to be talking about today. So let me begin and turn it over to Lynne.

Lynne: Hello everyone, we appreciate you choosing us over Martha Stewart and coming to this panel's discussion.

I'm going to start with the concept of geotagging. And for those of you who aren't familiar with geotagging, it's when a camera or a phone stores the location of where an image was taken. The technical term for this information is EXIF, that's short for exchangable image file. Basically the concept behind this sort of data is a good one. It helps photographers, and I know some of you guys are very into photography, helps them record not only when a picture was taken, what time it was taken, the lens that was used, the exposure, so that photographers who have photos they really, really like so that they can look back at the settings and determine how it was originally done so that they can duplicate those in other photos. Both cameras, I give you some examples here, and smartphones can geotag photos. And a lot of people, because this information is actually embedded into the jpeg file, don't know that it exists. So I'm going to talk a little bit about some of the digital privacy issues around geotagging.

So here's an example of something I did a couple of days ago just so I could make my point to you. I went on flickr, I found a picture of a very cute little baby. I went ahead and saved that image to my hard drive. I uploaded the image to just a basic -- just happens to be a viewer, it's easily available if I Googled EXIF data on the Internet -- I uploaded it, and you can see the information that came back just from purely uploading a picture that I saw on the Internet. It was taken by an Apple iPhone 3G, so even the fact that we know the model of the iPhone or smartphone that it was taken with, the exposure, the flash, but more importantly the date, and this is not the time that it was uploaded to flickr, this is actually the time that the photo was taken. July 27th at 3:29. Underneath that you'll see the LAT/LONG and I was very easily to take that information, throw it into Google Maps, you guys all you're very familiar with the mapping, and this particular picture was taken in Cancun, Mexico and it went down to the actual street address, that information was available.

Cybercasing is the other issue I wanted to talk about just to make sure people were aware of it. Cybercasing is the use of social media, the Internet, and geotag location information to cybercase someone's location, their behavior, or items of value. This concept is much broader. This can be something from a parent checking out their son or daughter's behavior on the Internet. It can be a recruiter looking at a potential candidate's social media website. It can be be a thief looking at whether or not you're on vacation.

Jennifer: A reporter! [Laughter.]

Lynne: Yes. Someone attempting to do something malicious to you. So here are some examples of what falls under cybercasing. The first one is, someone posted this - one of my Facebook friends, "Yay! 4 day weekend. San Cadia here we come." I live in Seattle, San Cadia is about an hour and a half outside the city. You have just told all of your Facebook friends, and if you happen to have friends of friends as your privacy setting instead of just friends, so not only all of your friends but your friend's friends, and then with the new Facebook feature, the ticker, if you have friends of friends and someone comments on your post then all of their friends can see your post. How many have you guys seen something over there and you're like, "Why am I seeing this comment that my friend is leaving on somebody's and I don't know who that person is." It's because of the friends of friends setting. So you can see how what was just an innocent post, and maybe my friend thought I would just see it, could actually go to a large number of people that they weren't anticipating.

The photo in the bottom left, this is LettuceGate. A couple weeks ago, a guy from Burger King steps in two things of lettuce, posted on a photosharing site, I think it's called Ucam or something. Interesting story about this is the community on this photosharing site was so outraged by this picture that within 15 minutes, they scraped the photo off of the site, put it into an EXIF viewer like I just did, figured out exactly what city and state this was in, contacted the local media and contacted Burger King, and they were able to remove the lettuce before anyone ate it, thank goodness. And he and two of his coworkers were fired as a resulte of LettuceGate2012.

On the right I give you an example of a guy had a job interview. His tweet says, "Sister just offered me a job now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work." Of course, somebody from Cisco saw this and retweeted, his response. "Who's the hiring manager. We here are Cisco are well-versed in the web."

These are pretty good examples of how the breadcrumb of your online behaviors can be often used against you.

One last example of cybercasing to help you guys kind of conceptualize this: Seattle, Washington, the day before yesterday. I went ahead and went onto our local Craigslist site. I chose jewelry, by owner, value over $5000, has to have an image. A list of items popped up. This was the diamond ring that happened to be in Linwood, which is north of Seattle. It's a large area, so I wouldn't know where this person lived. I grabbed the photo, again processed it, and you can see the LAT/LONG and the date it was taken. It's probably a pretty good assumption that this person was selling a piece of jewelry by owner, they were doing it out of their home. So instantly know where a ring of $9000 value is, down to the street level. Another example of cybercasing and the importance of removing geotag information out of photos that you're posting to the Internet.

Now that I've explained all of the problems, what are the solutions?

Geotagging is pretty easy. You can all go into your location services on your iPhone if you happen to have an Apple device. Apple is great in that they let you choose your location settings by application, so by removing geotagging from your camera, you are not removing location from Yelp or Maps or something that you want location services for. So you just go into the camera, same with Instagram, Camera+, any of those camera applications, you can go ahead and turn off your location on those. Android, there are some instructions here for Android as well. And then your camera-cameras, just read your instruction books. It will tell you A), if you have a location enabled camera and B) how to turn it off. Become familiar with the EXIF viewers that are available to you if you're posting a photo to a blog or somewhere else where you don't want location information, and you didn't take the photo or you can't remember when you took the photo. Throw it into an EXIF viewer and just see if, and then there's websites that actually will strip it for you. One of the most failproof ways to strip out the info, is to upload it to Facebook. Facebook automatically strips EXIF data when you post pics online, so you can always upload it and download it and get a copy of it that's clean. A little trick.

Member: Can you go back to that? Facebook strips it for you?

Lynne: Yes. There's a number of site that strip. The outmywindow application strips the EXIF data out. Pinterest strips. Twitpic does not strip. Again, read their policies and double check all of this, because just because we do this today, doesn't mean that the policy wouldn't change. Craigslist does not. eBay strips. So if you're posting something to eBay, you don't need to worry as much about this, but you need to double check because you never know when these sort of settings change. Picasa, flickr, don't strip.

Member: You can turn it off in flickr though.

Lynne: Yes. The interesting thing about flickr is, flickr will be the first to tell you is that the fact that they post location is a benefit to the site. It's something that allows people to sort by location. It's just if it's used incorrectly or if you don't know that you're putting that information out there and you dont' want to. Just make sure it's a conscious choice.

A few other tips for cybercasing: These are pretty much common sense, but you'd be surprised. Think before posting or tweeting negativity about your job, work or boss. And this is not just your job, your boss, your work, but also your industry. You may also want to get a job with a competitor or another large company in the same space and you don't want to be bashing the industry. Birth year, home address, mother's maiden name. If you are going to post these things, and I'm guilty of posting some of these, like your pet or your child's name, do not use them as passwords. So everyone on Facebook knows your dog's name is Atticus and your kid's name is Emerson, so just make sure Emerson01 is not the password to your bank. Curse words, too much information, alcohol, partying, strong political or religious opinions -- again, I'm not saying don't do it, I'm saying think about what the ramifications of those could be. Other people's info, pictures, especially their kids. Just treat other people's info the same way you want to be treated and make sure you ask before you post a picture of your kids' birthday party. And that you're out of town, or that your significant other is out of town, or you can hardly wait until your husband comes home from his business trip or, you guys have seen these posts. "I hate being alone." Be careful with those. And then watch posts with pictures of items of value. People use social media to boast, but, "Look at my new car! We just closed on the new house today!" And there's the mansion. Just be careful. I mean, how many people get engaged and show the wedding ring? Just be conscious that there's a lot of access out there for these.

Last, just some tips that I would have: Read technology and parenting blogs. I think that people are very concerned about how it pertains to children, and there's a lot of people out there that use their expertise and are really, really wonderful resources. I give one here that I happen to use, it's the Online Mom. A really good understanding of technology and privacy issues and if something kind of new comes up that I'm not familiar with, usually she's figured it out. A lot of the big brands will have family safety sites as well. There's a school based education programs, that if you have kids and you're interested in your school district adopting the FBI, as an example, has a great online program for kids. As tempting as it is to throw away your user guides and instruction manuals, go ahead and read them because you'll be surprised at what some of our technology can do.

The other thing is I want everyone to start thinking about privacy as a layered concept. You have the application. Then you have the mobile device. Then you have the wireless operator. Then you have your connectivity provider. That could be Comcast, right? It could be your Apple device. Each one of those has different ways that they treat your data and different privacy policies and ramifications. So just because you set an application setting, don't forget to look at your other settings. What are your broadband settings? What are your wifi settings? All that sort of thing. So think of privacy as a layered concept and check all of the technology that's involved.

Jennifer: That's great. Thank you. Angela, so Angela, you have been creating content for children for some time. I was one of those really bad parents who did not take a lot of photos, but it's just so easy now with the phone for so many people to take photos of their kids, post their sonograms. So, what are some of the issues and the concerns that parents should be mindful about from the perspective of a child.

Angela: Thank you for including me in this conversation. I am thoroughly freaked out. [Laughter.] When I set out to do educational media, I feel a responsibility to my audience as I always think it's like a parent turning on a show that I have done is like inviting someone into your living room. And even though you're in your pajamas and you feel safe in where you are, but obviously giving an iPad, turning the computer on, turning the TV on, you're literally inviting someone into your home. And so as a parent, it's really, really obviously important to us to know about all of this different information, to be up, to really understand the technology, to arm ourselves what the new FTC is proposing that just came out yesterday in terms of the guidelines for COPPA that will change, but also to understand the intent of whoever it is that you are looking at, literally understanding it is an advertising intent, is it a marketing intent, is it an educational point-of-view? And we ask for information for our apps, for instance or when we're building an online site, it's to scaffold the information so that the kids can master the skills that they need, but obviously when you get a pop-up on your computer that tells your kid that you just won a laptop, they need to understand what that truly means.

But anyway from a parent perspective, one of the things that I look at is a program called Everloop that was actually created by a mom that was looking for a Facebook alternative for her kids under 13 -- I don't know if we know about that. It's a very safe environment, it's very similar to me about not being able to bring my kids into a room with strangers who you don't know how old they are and they're unsupervised. And that's how I look at Facebook. That's how I look at some of these social media sites for under 13. Everloop has a 24/7 live-moderating for all of their messaging, for all of their texting, so they crack down on inappropriate behavior. They have patterns they can look for to see if there's any sexual predators and the like so you can feel better about the fact that there's someone looking for their kids.

And then the piece that I do in the way that I always write is to empower kids themselves and so we do need to take a step back and educate kids about everything, all the consequences of their actions in terms of it's not like when we were kids and we used to write a note and that note would get passed and, God forbid, someone took that note and read it. Now, if you write something, you text something, you just have to be prepared for everyone to read it. And the other way that I think about it is that when we're empowering kids, we wouldn't put them behind the wheel of a car without educating them, and that's how strongly I feel about putting YouTube on for the kids in terms of not giving them any information about how to decipher between the information. Letting them know how to conduct themselves, all of these things that you were talking about for adults, is obviously very true for kids and college entrance exams, first jobs, everything that you put on Facebook about who you are, you're presenting it to the world, and kids need to understand that as well, even the young ones. I think in terms of all the alarming statistics of bullying, about everything that's going on out there, that kids need to understand how to be a digital citizen. How they need to be able to treat other people in this world, even though there are words, there's a conversation about how can this cyber-bullying be so big and obviously it's huge and it can kill and there's been examples of that and we need to be open and communicative with our children about how to conduct themselves and how humor is not necessarily the same humor when it's written out, as it is when you're talking to somebody. We just need to really be talking about it.

In terms of communication would be my third clue, but in terms of keeping talking with parents but also keeping the computer and the iPad in a communal space so we can see and talk about privacy with our own kids. My daughter is 11 now. I'll read anything that she sends in, that she gets out, that is sent to her. It has to be a two-way street so that we can keep them safe.

Jennifer: That's great. Thank you. And Vicky, so you have been working in this space and thinking about the challenges. So tell us about this app that you've been working on and how does it address the problems that we've been hearing about?

Vicky: I was really excited to participate in this conversation because frankly I personally struggled with -- we live in this time where these boundaries between who you are personally and who you are professionally and all the different parts of your life have all become really, really, really blurry. It's tough. There's more interesting and fun ways that we can connect with other people and I'm wearing this stupid little device where I can share with all of my friends how many steps I take every day. If I chose to, they could see how well I'm sleeping every night. So it's just, but it's fun. It does add to your life also. So this desire for us to be able to still be able to connect with our close friends and family while maintaining control over the information that we share, in this case we're talking about photos, that sort of created the vision of outmywindow for us.

We wanted to create and experience where, by default unlike most social networks, anything that you post is yours personally, only. We wanted it to be a really explicit and intentional decision when you share so that you could very specifically say who you wanted to see each photo and add them. But we also wanted you to have the flexibility, for example, share a group of photos with your coworkers. So I'll be sharing photos from BlogHer with the whole team back at work, but the bachelorette party photos? Perhaps I will only be sharing those with my close friends. And then there's photos that you just want to share with your close family. So we wanted you to have that flexibility. And a lot of features for outmywindow came directly from members of the team sharing a little with us about how they wanted to share photos. We spent a lot of late nights working on the app, late Friday nights, sometimes we would get to talking about things that had nothing to do with work at all. One of the developers shared with me that he was an avid scotch connoisseur and he held tasting parties. Then he looked me straight in the eye and said, "I want to be absolutely positive that my boss cannot see those photos." He's a lot smarter than that Cisco guy. Another woman on the team said that, "I would just love to be able to send photos to my family to my grandparents' photo frame, in their house, I don't have to teach them how to use the Interweb, they can just get the photo right there." And then she also wanted to be able to pitch photos to her brothers' big screen TV. So that was some of the input we heard. I'm the one in my family who got stuck with the massive boxes of photo albums, so I've been using the app to scan the photos and share them just with my close family and relatives. I told the team they cannot see my massive bowl haircut, or my prom photos with the really big bangs. So having that control and granularity is what we're really excited about the app for. It was sort of a recurring trend that we heard from the team and I think it's something we're seeing more people want more simplified control and choice and a little bit of protection from that dreaded accidental broadcasting of your most personal memories. So that's what outmywindow is all about.

Jennifer: And so does it strip the metadata or it just allows you to do...

Vicky: It strips some metadata, but we actually leave you the option to decide for that particular photo to leave your location data on. The idea behind it is that you're picking a specific group of people that you trust that you want to share that with. So we want that metadata to be added into the experience but you always have the option to turn it off.

Jennifer: Great, great. So maybe we'll get a chance to look at it. Lynne, we chatted briefly about this before the panel. One of the stories that I wrote last November for the Times was about the very specific challenges that teachers have handling and managing their presence on social media. What's happening now are that school districts around the country are looking to put in policies because some teachers unions have said we need guidelines to set those boundaries for their students. And so one of the questions that arose out of the reporting is should teachers friend their students. So the question of to friend or not friend. Lynne, you have some thoughts on that as a daughter of a teacher.

Lynne: My mom is a first grade teacher. My view is no, it's a really good example of in this space, making mandates across large swaths of the population or a technology or an application isn't going to work. It has to be self-regulation and it has to be voluntary and it has to be best practices. I don't think a school district is going to be successful if they say every teacher cannot friend anyone and they cannot engage with social media. There's some awesome ways that teachers can interface with their students outside of the classroom and it has been proven to be very, very effective. Again it has to be about best practices and each of these situations as they come up has to be looked at individually instead of just widespread mandates for any profession. As a daughter of a teacher, I would hope that she's not friending her students. [Laughter.]

Jennifer: Here in New York City they just recently created some best practices and guidelines. We were talking about cyber-bullying and bullying and how the 8th grade can be a very scary place for children everywhere. What are some of the consequences perhaps of earnest, enthusiastic mom posting photos of her kids from the moment or before they have arrived. What are some of these concerns that people should have.

Angela: I know we were talking and you said if your twins' friends had seen the pics of them in the bathtub. We deal with that in terms of blogging as well. How much can you talk about the problems with your own children, then we read what you've post and I think that again it's a communication, it's a conversation. I think my whole thing is about education and empathy building in terms of trying to get my children to friend people who are going to be open and honest and obviously if they are going to be people who are going to make fun of you for your bathroom picture or whatever that's posted by your mother then you need to think about other friends. It's a conversation, except now it's just escalated to such a bigger level. I think from a school standpoint, from a parent community, it just has to be constantly talking about it. What's appropriate and what's not appropriate and how to prevent bullying, even from the preschool age we talk about it from the empathy and literally teaching them about how not just to be nice to each other but in terms of being appreciative of each other and obviously in the programming that's what we're trying to do. It's about the modeling of the positive behavior.

Jennifer: And it's not just photos, it's information. I'm a reporter, so let me tell you, I'm one of those cybercasers out there and if you really want to know what people can find out about you, go onto and just type in your username, your email address, your name, and on the morning of the horrific Colorado shootings, in two minutes, I could figure out that James Holmes was not from Aurora, that he was from San Diego and I found his mother. The tragic, horrible story out of Afghanistan, the moment that we learned the identity of the soldier, there I was, that was my job to find out everything I could about him which was a lot of information including his wife's blog. His wife had kept a very detailed, beautifully written blog about their life which also included very personal information about the personal challenges they had faced with his repeated tours back to Afghanistan. The good thing now is that I can't even remember his name. But everything is out there; it's not just photos, it's information. And what kind of information should we be mindful about keeping private.

Lynne?: I think going back to anything that can be tied to financial services, any of your banking information any of the things that people commonly use as passwords. I think that it's such a joke Googling yourself and seeing what comes up. But at the same time, you have to. It's like a credit check. As regularly as you check your credit to make sure everything's fine, you should go online and Google yourself. And then go to spokeo. And then look at what your online profile on Facebook looks like to the outside world. Have there been setting changes that Facebook has done that I'm not aware about? Go to any number of sites, even, anything like this that sort of contains --

Jennifer: Yes,

Lynne: Yes, give us a list of your sources! [Laughter.}

Jennifer: I have some new ideas from this panel.

Lynne: She's going to be using the EXIF viewer like crazy.

Jennifer: Yes. I'm going to flickr.

Angela: I have a question though, when Martha Stewart was talking about being personal and open and real and genuine and honest and we want that right. We all just crave some normalcy and reality? How do you balance that? What do you think in terms of keeping us all safe?

Jennifer: And so what were some of the questions that prompted you to look for a solution with this app.

Vicky: It was actually one of the members of the team was traveling and wanted to share a photo with her parents and kids but she wanted to be able to do it quickly and easily. We've all seen that you can email a photo to people. You can text it. But she wanted something high quality, would have loved to have sent it directly to the living room. And so that was kind of the kick-off moment for the app. But as we continued down the path of building it, we kept hearing more and more feedback from the parents on our teams and those of us are professionals, because it is such a delicate balance and I think you're right we all have to be aware of how we present ourselves online. I think making really intentional decisions about what you share and taking that extra 5 seconds to think who could see this, what could this be used for, and do I really want that out there makes a big different. I had a recent experience because my brother just got married to weekends ago and that night a couple people had posted photos from the wedding and I felt kind of bad for my new sister-in-law because she didn't get to pick which photos went up, she didn't have a say. It bothered me a little bit, that it was just out there. When I got married, that wasn't a problem for me. It's such a different time.

Jennifer: I think I still have the proofs.

Vicky: Yeah, it was a little shocking for me to see their wedding photos up and they had just left on their honeymoon and they didn't get to see them before everybody else. It's different.

Jennifer: Very different. Well, we want to open up the discussion to all of you. If you could just tell us your name.

Member: (too quiet), This is so timely, I have my teen daughter with me in the city and we're doing a story for hotels they have a teen concierge. She's out shopping in the city, we're texting right now, and she's texting me photos of things she wants to buy and I took a photo of her this morning and I was about to tweet that it was her first big day in the city alone and I thought, "What the hell am I thinking? I've got 10,000 followers!" It was the first time that had really occurred to me, how we could be putting our kids at risk. Does Instagram have this metadata? She loves instagram and now I need to go into her iPhone apparently and strip all of this out from her phone.

Jennifer: I mean tumblr is a huge space for teenagers. There's a stunning amount of content on tumblr by teenagers. Tumblr is a place parents need to be mindful of, and unlike some of the other platforms like Facebook which is pretty strict in terms of service regarding pornography, tumblr does not, sort of mixing up a lot of content there. And twitter, it's an absolute myth that teenagers are not on twitter. They are on twitter. Another thing I've been astonished by is what gets shared on twitter by these teenagers. It's the worst lockerroom. It's the worst fears as the mother of a daughter of what boys are saying. So definitely check twitter. The thing is about twitter is that my basic reporting tool, go to advanced search, and up will pop about six fields. All you need to do is ... twitter offers users the opportunity to turn on geolocating, it's not by default. But everyone puts in their profile where they live, so the search option on twitter takes that data and so when I, Wednesday I wrote the story about Chik-Fil-A, I read where the protests were happening and I could get like thousands of tweets if I put in Atlanta, Ga and hashtag #chikfila, I got a ton of tweets about it. I got a ton of pictures that people were sharing. And under the twitter terms of service, it's all public. So, and I put them in the New York Times. So a 17-year-old, wrote this story on Tuesday , he tweeted at an Olympic diver, and said when the diver lost and missed out a medal, and said, "Oh you let your dad down and all of us," and the diver's father had died sadly of brain cancer the year before. So this kid was arrested in the UK for making menacing comments. So I went into his stream, -- I'm going to give you my best secret, okay, this is my best secret: It's amazing. When everybody else couldn't find those Anthony Weiner tweets. You just put in someone's stream, their handle, and then it searches, it has access to the twitter API for at least a year, maybe longer, and up pops everything. And then, I'm a reporter, CTRL F, you can do all sorts of things. Even if you don't activate geolocating on twitter, twitter still knows and will tell me.

Lynne: Geolocation doesn't have to be about LAT/LONG embedded in a photo. We all have the default setting on Facebook now is when you post it says, "Near New York City," or whatever.

Member: How do you get rid of that?

Lynne: I don't know, but there's got to be a way.

Member: It's under location settings.

Lynne: Do you guys remember that site, what was it, It would collect data -- there's other sites, called girlsnearme, it culled all of the social media stuff and could tell people who was around them. Continue watching media and Google. Every time I want to know something about Facebook, I just Google and somebody has already asked the question and figured out an answer. I'm like, "Oh there's the setting I need."

To answer your question, Instagram does take out the EXIF data today. Who knows what they're going to do tomorrow. Tumblr does not. What I would do with yoru daughter is talk to her about the use case that she would imagine that she needs location information. She probably won't come up with something that makes any sort of real compelling sense to her then ask her to disable the camera location. It's just better safe than sorry to go ahead and remove it. It goes back to what I talk about with layering. If you do it at the device level, you don't have to worry about what the application is doing. Right? Make sure that you're hitting it at all of those layers and find out where the most protection is and try to stop it there.

Why does some random app that has no use for location information have a default setting with it on? Even your boss will know where you are. Sometimes you want to just fall off the grid, and location doesn't always let you. There's quite a few aspects of digital privacy that knowing what's out about you out there, you gotta know what's out there before you can fix it and prevent it. Google yourselves.

Jennifer: So to find your iPhone functionality, because it doesn't turn location on for everything.

Lynne: Apple and Android, to their credit, are becoming more and more aware of issues surrounding privacy. You have probably seen a lot in the news about privacy policy issues. One thing about privacy policies is that they are, on average, written to a 16-grade reading level. And the average American reads at 8. So there's sometimes a disconnect in how clear it is written and what we understand. You can go in though and find the heavy hitters, what are they collecting, are they encrypting data, are there safeguards, are they sharing info with third parties. Those kind of things you can kind of comb through and find.

Member: As a consumer, I would love if there was some standard these ten things are covered.

Lynne: It's a fantastic idea and it's one that my company happens to be working on. I'll just explain the general policy. The FTC said, "I just wish there was a nutrition label for privacy." We got to thinking about that and about how many rating systems there are; TV, movie. And what's so great about these rating and nutritional values is they don't stop us from using, from eating, they don't stop us from going to a movie, they don't stop us from watching a show, but they allow us to make an informed decision before we watch it or we let our kids watch it or we know how much we have to run on the treadmill afterward. I think it's -- I don't want anyone restricting my access to technology. At all. I think technology is what makes our world go round. It's exciting and innovative and yes, there are pitfalls and so if you can have a tool where you could, instead of having to read a privacy policy, the things that we're measuring are, do you have a privacy policy, do you collect info that is not necessary for the use of the app, and if you do collect any info whether it's for the use of the app or not, are you sharing it with a third party; and if you are collecting information, because a lot of apps need to and so that the commerce of the Internet works, you just want to know that it's going on and that they have data safeguards in place. I think the industry is moving towards it. There's a lot of work with the FTC, a lot of Obama has put out a charge to the mobile industry that we need to get best practices related to privacy both for children and for adults in place. So I think you're going to see in the next 12-24 months icon based privacy policy -- a version of a privacy policy that's easy to read. Maybe transitioning to a nutrition label type of privacy policy so that we all could use that info.

Jennifer: Or we need an app, like a TOS app, that would just get an update when an a social network or an app changed their privacy policies/settings. Which happens as we know, all the time.

Member: My concern is that I have an alter-ego, my website doesn't have my name on it.

Jennifer: Identity: one of the most fascinating questions on the web.

Member: I would like to eventually put my pic on it but not have my name, and I'm wondering does that even bother protecting myself once I put my picture there.

Jennifer: I mean, with facial recognition, that's like another thing that I do. I can take a photograph, there was a photo on this fake account, the photo was actually of this young model from somewhere else. It was just another pebble on the pile that this wasn't a real person. So there is that capability right now with Google images where I can take a photo, slap it down there, and it will tell me who you are.

Member: Will it just show you all the same photos that have the same facial characteristics or will it identify you?

Jennifer: You know, I don't know. Has anyone used it recently? And, of course, metadata is attached to the image. It's a story I'm working on next, about facial recognition. There's been so much user generated content, of course, created around the world that for us at the time that we've been able to get a window into what is happening. But many activists express concern about people being identified in YouTube videos. So they just provided functionality where you can put a little doo-dad in front of someone's face, so you can blur. And one of the uses which is fascinating for me because one of the uses is for parents so you want to show video of your kids soccer game.

Vicky?: Wireless operators are working on in a text they can measure the amount of flesh in a picture so that as parent, you could use parental controls. So facial recognition is scary, but there's great applications for parents that would like to stop the snapchat type of sexting stuff that is going on too. You have to look at everything.

Jennifer: Absolutely.

Member: I'm a mom and I work with a site that is concerned with our privacy. Does YouTube have the same metadata.

Lynne: Yes, but you can turn information on and off. I think the default is that it is just uploaded in the manner in which it was stored.

Member: I work with a site called Scruples, it's all about privacy and sharing with specific groups. No tracking on the site. I see this as a huge concern that's overcoming all of us. I'm still learning all of it. Now I'm concerned about stuff I put out there before.

Jennifer: It's less about what you posted and more about what you've posted that others have shared and you just kind of lose control. That's one of the issues that is of most concern. If you shut down your Facebook account, you lose all of that data. However, but is it really gone if ...? I have found that likes and comments people have made on others' pages that other people shared -- and I can't find it. But Facebook will kill your data.


Jennifer: When you login using Facebook or twitter, what info are you sharing with that application?

Lynne: Never log into any application that is not Facebook with your Facebook ID. They are actually close to best practices when it comes to privacy issues. They have really good encryption and data safeguards. The third parties are just using an API login, but you don't know what they're doing with your info. I would not recommend it.

Jennifer: And you can, I have done this, I have gone onto twitter and Facebook, because I have logged in, because you can control it.

Vicky: Because some people want to have a single account across the board.

Jennifer: So your recommendation would be to do the traditional sign in.

Lynne: My personal belief is that I want to have relationships with individual app providers, when you try to follow the bouncing ball of your online life it's harder. When LinkedIn was hacked, two or three other sites had compromises as well. It's a lot more simple if you sign up with individual accounts.

Jennifer: What is it, Onepassword, there's some app...

Lynne: There are some sites that help.

Jennifer: We're just about out of time. If anyone has any additional questions, please @ reply me on twitter. I'm @NYT_JennPreston, or @outmywindow. And Angela's is @angelasclues and @lynneseitz for Lynne. Thank you! [Applause.]