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Entries in Photos (9)

Saturday
Mar092013

Ariz. Couple Sues Walmart over Kids’ Bath Photos

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- In 2008, Lisa and Anthony “A.J.” Demaree took their three young daughters on a trip to San Diego. They returned home to Arizona and brought photos of their then 5, 4 and 1 1/2 year old daughters to a local Walmart in Peoria to be developed.

That should have been that, except instead of receiving 144 happy familial memories, Walmart employees reported the Demarees to the Peoria Police Department on the suspicion that they had taken pornographic images of their children. The police, in turn, called in the Arizona Child Protective Services Agency, and the couple lost custody of their daughters for over a month.

They were shocked. “Some of the photos are bath time photos,” Lisa Demaree told ABC News at the time, “but there are a few after the bath. Three of the girls are naked, lying on a towel with their arms around each other, and we thought it was so cute.”

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the photographs were not, in fact, pornographic, and a medical exam revealed no signs of sexual abuse. The girls were returned to their parents.

But the damage had been done: The couple’s named went on a central registry of sex offenders, and “We’ve missed a year of our children’s lives as far as memories go,” Demaree told ABC News.

In 2009, the couple sued the city of Peoria and the State Attorney General’s office for defamation. They also sued Walmart for failing to tell them that they had an “unsuitable print policy” and could turn over photos to law enforcement without the customer’s knowledge.

A federal judge in Phoenix sided with Walmart, ruling that employees in Arizona cannot be held liable for reporting suspected child pornography. The Demarees appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and on March 6 the court held a hearing before three judges.

“The photos involved were simple childhood nudity,” the family’s lawyer, Richard Treon, told ABC News. He argued that Walmart committed fraud on its customers by not disclosing that employees would look at their photographs. Nor did customers know that employees could take photos they found offensive to their boss, who could then call the police.

Walmart did not respond to an interview request from ABC News. But, according to Courthouse News the company’s lawyer, Lawrence Kasten, argued that under Arizona statute employees who report child abuse without malice are immune from prosecution. He added that there was no indication of malice in this case.

“I fear that what may happen after this case is [that the] employee will sit there and say, boy, if I turn these over my employer is going to spend millions of dollars in legal fees, and I’m going to get hauled in front of a deposition for eight hours, [so] maybe I’ll just stick them back in the envelope and not worry about them,” he said. “Immunity is supposed to prevent exactly that from happening.”

It’s unknown when the appeals court will rule on the case against the city and Walmart.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

After User Uproar, Instagram Apologizes and Reverts to Old Terms of Service

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Instagram has snapped to it.

Earlier this week, after users lashed out against Instagram's updated terms of service, which implied the company might sell user photos and place them in ads, Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, promised to revise the terms. On Thursday, he announced that not only is he sorry for the confusion, but the company will keep the previous wording.

"It became clear that we failed to fulfill what I consider one of our most important responsibilities -- to communicate our intentions clearly. I am sorry for that, and I am focused on making it right," Systrom wrote on Instagram's blog Thursday night. "Because of the feedback we have heard from you, we are reverting this advertising section to the original version that has been in effect since we launched the service in October 2010."

The clause users were most concerned with was one that implied Instagram would allow users' photos to appear or be displayed in advertisements. Systrom cleared up that concern.

"I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don't own your photos -- you do," he said.

After hearing of the new terms, many users were up in arms and said they planned to quit the service -- including a few celebrity users. Even after Systrom's original response, National Geographic and other large brands said they would reevaluate their use of the service.

"Instagram needs to do some serious damage control to repair what was a pristine, 'for the users' brand," Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told ABC News.

Regardless, Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion, will begin to start advertising. It just might do it in some different ways.

"Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work," Systrom said.

"Instagram, like all mobile properties, needs to drive revenue and they will turn to advertising," Moorhead said. "This will turn away some users at first but, like Facebook and Twitter, users will adjust and not flee en mass."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec182012

Instagram Responds to Backlash, Says It Won't Sell User Photos

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Instagram has heard the mass outrage (including the celebrities') in response to its new terms of service, and says it will clear things up.

After confusion over its new Terms of Service, which implied Instagram might sell photos to advertisers, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom responded Tuesday afternoon in a blog post. Systrom said that he and the company are "listening" and that they plan to "modify specific parts of the terms to make it more clear what will happen with your photos."

The part that most users will be happy to hear? "It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing. To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos. We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."

He also said he wants to clear up the confusion about Instagram's intent to put anyone's photos in ads. "The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we're going to remove the language that raised the question."

Systrom does say advertising will make its way to Instagram's platform and that the company would like to "experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram." Instagram was purchased by Facebook in April for $1 billion; the company has not been profitable.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec102012

Take That, Instagram: Twitter Adds Own Photo Filters

Twitter(NEW YORK) -- The filtered photo war is on.

Instagram announced Sunday that it was no longer supporting embedded photos on Twitter, but Twitter isn’t sitting still when it comes to photo sharing.

On Monday evening Twitter’s updated its Android and iPhone apps with features that allow you to add filters to photos directly from the app. No need to do it through Instagram anymore.

There are eight filters to choose from -- including, Warm, Cool, Vintage, Happy, and Cinematic -- as well as cropping and brightening functions. The photo filters, using technology made by Aviary -- not Twitter -- will be added to the Twitter app when you download the update.

You can easily see your photos with the filters in a grid, which makes it easier to decide which filter you’d like to use. Instagram still offers a more robust set of features, though, especially with its blurring tool.

Coincidentally, Instagram also released an update for its iOS app Sunday, which adds the ability to crop and scale photos.

Instagram’s CEO said that the decision to drop Twitter embedding support was about sending people to Instagram’s own site -- but it so happens that Facebook acquired Instagram in April. “This is likely the result of the Facebook acquisition, as it makes little sense for Facebook to send Instagram pictures to Twitter,” Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner Inc., told ABC News earlier Monday.

Still, it is easy to see why Twitter has added the functionality to its own app. Instagram has over 100 million users and on Thanksgiving alone over 10 million photos were uploaded.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug102012

Hiring Vacation ‘Paparazzi’ for Professional Photos Is Growing Trend

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer is a time for millions of people to set out on journeys full of fun and adventure.  Vacationers usually take lots of photos to capture the great memories they’ve made.

Until recently, vacations that cost thousands of dollars were being captured on cameras that cost only a few bucks.  But some people are changing that.

Enter Allie Hawkins, a photographer who says vacation photos shouldn’t be an afterthought.  She makes a living at the helm of Island Photography, a company that captures memories for travelers vacationing on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

“There’s always that family member who is the one taking the pictures and is never in any of the photos.  That’s usually the person who winds up hiring us to capture memories that include everyone,” Hawkins told ABC's Good Morning America in an interview that aired Friday.

Hawkins’ clients are part of a growing trend: people paying to have their vacations professionally photographed.

Genevieve Shaw Brown, travel editor for ABC News, said social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, were a big driving force behind this phenomenon.

“People want to create the illusion that they’re having the perfect vacation or they have the perfect life and a professional photographer is certainly going to help you do that,” she said.

The Internet is full of vacation photo package deals, ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.  Those packages are available all over the world, from Disney resorts to the quaint streets of Paris.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

Amelia Earhart's Aviator Goggles Could Fetch $32,000

This file photo, taken circa 1925, shows American aviator Amelia Earhart sitting in the cockpit of her plane. Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Broken Luxor aviator goggles said to have been worn by Amelia Earhart are being auctioned and may fetch over $32,000, according to The Guardian.  It is said Earhart may have worn the goggles as her plane crashed during a lesson in 1921, The Guardian reports.  

Also to be auctioned are 18 unseen photographs of Earhart as she prepared for her 1937 round-the-world attempt, during which she disappeared.  The photos, which include shots of Earhart packing for her final flight and getting a haircut, surfaced after Diane Brown, 66, received them from her mother, a former pilot, but forgot they existed, The Guardian reports.

Clars auction gallery in California will auction the goggles and the photos on Sept. 11.
 
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun102011

New Facebook Facial Recognition Feature Brings More Concerns

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook is facing a new wave of concerns over privacy protection after launching its latest feature, which allows users to identify their friends automatically in photos without their permission.

The photo tagging tool, called Tag Suggestions, was put into place in December, but it was listed as unavailable until recently.

Here's how it works: When a user uploads new photos to his or her Facebook profile, the new feature then scans them with facial recognition software to match the people in the photos with other photos in which they might have been previously tagged.

The feature also offers "group tagging," which allows users to type in a person's name and "apply it to multiple photos of the same person," according to Facebook's blog post on the subject.

The problem is that users can do this without their friend's permission.

Facebook said on its blog Tuesday that it has been rolling out the Tag Suggestions feature over the course of several months.  While it was originally just available in the United States, they also said it is now activated in several countries, which has already caused some headaches.

Bloomberg.com reported that a group of European Union data-protection regulators announced Wednesday they have launched a probe into the new feature, which was enabled as an active default setting, to see if it violated any privacy rules.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant for Sophos, a British Internet security firm, called the new feature "creepy" and said that one of Facebook's biggest offenses was not telling its users this feature was being launched, as well as not explaining to them how to opt out of it.

Cluley said the potential danger with this feature is your Facebook friends can upload any photo and tag it with your name, and Facebook doesn't give you the option to pre-approve your name being attached to that photo.

Another concern with Facebook gathering this data, Cluley said, is what the company might do with it five or 10 years down the road.

"Maybe in the future [Facebook] will sell this information to third parties," he said.  "There's so much information we've already given away willingly to Facebook.  They have slowly eroded away our control over that data."

Facebook has issued instructions as to how to disable the feature.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May202011

Facebook to Start Scanning for Child Porn, Missing Children

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Facebook announced Thursday that it will be joining forces with Microsoft to spot child pornography and pictures of missing children on its website.

According to AFP, the social media network will use Microsoft's photo identification technology, PhotoDNA, to scan photos uploaded onto its site and match them up with pictures of missing children listed in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's database.

PhotoDNA has had previous success detecting inappropriate images on the search engine Bing and SkyDrive, an online file storage service.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

White iPhone Coming This Week?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Apple stores in the U.S. and Europe could be selling a white iPhone as soon as April 27, according to various overseas reports.

The white version's release has been pushed back several times in the past year. This is normally a slow time of year for iPhone sales because the company often introduces new models in the summer.

Newly leaked photos of a prototype phone are leading to rumors that Apple may introduce a white iPhone for T-Mobile. AT&T, which already has the iPhone, plans to take over T-Mobile and that would also give T-Mobile customers access to the iPhones.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio