by Paige Garty
You and your friends go on a hiking trip and to remember your good times you snap a ‘selfie.’ Later, you post that picture onto social media. Little do you know you and your social media followers are not the only ones who can see the picture from your hiking excursion. Ditto Labs in Massachusetts created new software that scans people’s photos from different social media sites for companies to track how their customers are responding to their product in everyday life.
1.8 billion photos are uploaded to social networking sites every day. This means 1.8 billion photos are being scanned every day from sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. The software allows companies to track the logos and patterns on people’s clothing, the location of the picture, and even reads facial expressions to determine the satisfaction of the customer.
The new program is a dream come true for marketing firms. They can now carry out extensive research with little effort and can find out vast information about their products’ consumers. Based on the results form Dittos Labs’ program, Advertisers can find out exactly how they should target their customers.
You may be thinking that this is totally intrusive and simply cannot be legal, but the director of Big Brother Watch (a group that challenges policies which it believes threaten people’s privacy) says otherwise. Emma Carr told MailOnline, “Social media companies are well within their rights to scan photos for marketing purposes, which will certainly come as a surprise to many users.”
I guess it is true what they say: be careful what you post on the Internet!