There’s a new out there feature called Facebook Sync, similar to one that we offer with
FileHopper, that will automatically upload all the photos you take with your mobile phone directly to a private folder on Facebook. And while we (obviously) think seamlessly backing up your photos is a good idea, there are a few things you should consider when deciding which tool to trust with your photos.
1. Facebook is really, really good at sharing.
There are 1 billion active monthly users on Facebook. And all of those people are actively sharing things with each other. Imagine trying to make privacy settings for that kind of a network, allowing everyone to find their right level of exposure. And then add in a regular flow of new features that need to be accounted for. Hats off to Facebook’s privacy team – they are a busy bunch! But that challenging environment means that Facebook’s privacy settings are kind of a work in progress. They change a lot, they’re confusing, and errors happen. To the cautious among us, this is means for concern.
“And while the synced folder in Facebook will be ‘private’ I find it hard to trust Facebook’s constantly evolving privacy settings to keep these images truly private,” writes Ewan Spence on Forbes.com.
Facebook wants to be both sharing and storage. And to get there, they’re asking you to put a lot of trust in their privacy policies.
2. Facebook knows A LOT about you.
Facebook’s powered by you… but more specifically, your data.
“Its system processes 2.5 billion pieces of content and 500+ terabytes of data each day. It’s pulling in 2.7 billion Like actions and 300 million photos per day, and it scans roughly 105 terabytes of data each half hour,” writes Josh Constine on TechCrunch.com.
Facebook knows more than who you’re friends with or what you like. They can add tools like geo-location and facial recognition to glean more information than you realized you are providing. Facebook says it won’t use the data from private photos, which all synced photos are by default. But again, you’re putting a lot of faith in Facebook’s privacy settings, and in yourself to keep up with changes and manage them properly.
3. Lots of photos + lots of places = a nightmare to manage.
There are a lot of options out there for backing up your photos. Facebook’s new feature joins Google+’s Instant Upload, Apple’s Photo Stream and many others (which share the same concerns of co-mingling storage and sharing). A lot of smartphone users are early adapters and like to try out a new feature, but consider the chaotic data mess you could be creating! What if you need to delete a photo. Go ahead, let your mind run for a few minutes on the reasons why that might be necessary. Do yourself a favor, manage all of your photos in one, backed up, secure and separate spot (like FileHopper).
Tech blogs are quick to tear apart each new Facebook feature. And though you might not believe it after reading this post, we really like Facebook. It is an amazing tool for staying “in-the-know.” In fact, you may have even gotten to this post through our Facebook page. But when it comes to your digital privacy, we think it is valuable to really consider the pros and cons of Facebook Photo Syncing.
You can turn off Photo Syncing by following these instructions.