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The problem with Facebook’s new photo app

New mobile app has potential for unwanted exposure

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 4:59 pm

Amy Hunter, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The problem with Facebook’s new photo feature is a matter of worst- case scenarios: You take what we’ll call a “sensitive” picture and you don’t realize it’s been automatically uploaded to your profile.

Now, if that did happen, the picture would not be public until you approved it on your page. But what if you got hacked? Or attacked by malware?

Or if you did what Data Doctors’ Ken Moskowitz does …

“I’m at a friend’s house and I hop on their computer for a second to show them something. I check my Facebook page and I forget to log out,” Moskowitz says. “Well, what happens now is that my friend has access to all of those photos.”

Facebook’s new feature is called “PhotoSync,” and it’s an application the company quietly rolled out that automatically uploads every picture on your smartphone to a private location on your Facebook page, Moskowitz says. Once on the page, the Facebook user can decide whether to post the picture publicly.

The application is not “on” by default. The user has to click “yes” before their photos begin populating automatically. But the app has “some unintended consequences that we’re concerned about,” says Moskowitz.

“Because Facebook is placing (the app) right in your news feed, it’s very easy to accidentally click on, ‘Yes, I want to do this,’ and suddenly your phone is now syncing. And it’s so seamless, you don’t even realize it’s happening,” he says.

Moskowitz says it’s fairly easy to make sure this feature is off, and to delete photos you don’t want shared.

Watch his video below to learn how.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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