Security and privacy online

There’s been a bit of talk recently about security and privacy.

A journalist from The Guardian stalked a girl via Foursquare, Facebook is never far from the headlines, and sites like
http://icanstalku.com have brought to light how much information you’re really giving away, while snapping photos and sharing them online.

But what if it’s too late for prevention?
What if you’ve been taking photos and sharing them online for ages, via services like Twitpic and Yfrog. What then, eh?
Presumably you can just select all your photos and delete them, no?

Well, no.
If you try and find a way to delete all your photos from Twitpic for example, you’ll likely come across this handy information.

That’s two options right there.

Neither of which actually deletes anything.

“Both of these methods are undo-able, which means that your account and photos will be restored if you login after deleting your account.”

Everything is just temporarily hidden from view.

So the only option, if you want to delete them is to do it from the main screen. ONE AT A TIME.

After every one, you get a handy popup message to ask if you’re absolutely sure, before the page very slowly refreshes, and you can attempt to delete another. Everything is geared to making sure you don’t just delete all of YOUR OWN photos.

Twitpic isn’t the only option though. Maybe Yfrog is better?
In a word, no.

In fact, Yfrog is odder still.
Bizarrely the frequently asked questions includes NO mention of how to delete your photos.

I call this bizarre, because if you go into the user forums, just look at this page:

The most popular question by a long way, is how to delete photos.

It isn’t immediately obvious how to delete multiple photos either (no way as far as I can find).

Someone asks in the yfrog forums how to remove their account, and the answer given is to open a support ticket.

They’ve made it as complicated as possible, for you to just remove your own photos.

Do you use Tweetdeck?
Unless you’ve changed the default picture uploader, you’ll be using TweetPhoto, when you upload a picture.

How to delete A (singular) photo?

 

Easy.

Is there a way to bulk delete old photos?

No.

“How do I delete my account?”
Well yeah…about that.
We didn’t really think anyone would want…errr…

Unbefuckinglievable.
Not only can you not just click to “delete my account”, but you’ve got to delete every photo individually.

The one saving grace I’ve found with all of this is that Twitter for iPhone (the client I (and lots of others) use at the moment, formerly known as Tweetie) has the option for custom api endpoints.

No, I didn’t know what they were either.

What this appears to mean, is that with a few plugins to WordPress, I can post photos from Twitter to my own webspace, host them myself, and have full control over them.
It isn’t immediately obvious how, but I found these instructions via Google at random, which seems to explain it.
All a bit more complicated than it should be, in my opinion.

I’m not a fan of Facebook, and we all know there are massive privacy flaws there, but services launched since (such as photo-sharing sites) are clearly no better.
Say what you like about Google, but at least I can go into Picasa and delete one/some/all of my OWN photos if I want to.

Update: I contacted Twitpic to check if I was missing an option, and see if there is any option for bulk deletions. I got this reply from them:

Still no change from my earlier opinion then.