If you use any photo sharing site like Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest, you probably know that anyone can view your latest vacation selfies if shared publicly.
Here’s what you may not know though. You may be surprised to learn that a new slew of online marketing companies are now searching, scanning and storing your images to draw stats an insights from you to give to big-brand advertisers.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, companies like Ditto Labs Inc , use software to scan photos and search for images of people holding – say a can of Coke, or maybe it’s a Bud Light. Maybe it’s the logo on your shirt. The point is, is that if you are showing off logos in your photos, there is a good chance a marketer is looking at and storing that photo of you.

Other companies, store images for months on their own servers to show marketers what brands and products are trending globally.

You may start to scratch your head and wonder about privacy laws, but with such a wealth of data, it will be difficult for marketers to keep their noses out of the pie.  If is estimated that on a service like Instagram, 20 billion photos have already been uploaded and 60 million are uploaded every day. Each photo potentially carrying valuable marketing information.

Although it is fairly common knowledge that marketing companies are keeping tabs on you, privacy watchdogs are concerned that these sites don’t clearly communicate with users that their information is being used.

What do you think? Did you know this was happening? Comment below. 

Source: Wall Street Journal