Prevent Walmart Printing of Your Facebook Photo Albums
UPDATE 07/22/2010 – Be sure to read the updated information posted below after the video.
Good evening all.
Thanks to Walter Van Dusen who brought to my attention Walmart is beta testing a new Facebook Connect application. This application allows access to your photo albums for printing. Many photographers have been using Facebook photo tagging as a way to generate word-of-mouth referrals from clients. I would assume a lot of folks have their album security set to “Friends of Friends”. Anyone who is listed with Friends access to your Facebook album will be able to print it via the Walmart application.
Before you decide to delete all your FB albums, it is possible for you to make a quick security settings change. Simply go to the Walmart Photo application and block it. Once blocked your albums will no longer show when someone uses Facebook Connect with Walmart Photo. The application ID on Facebook is 181585006811.
Here’s a quick video tutorial to show you how to block the app:
UPDATE 07/22/2010 – This week’s Tip Tuesday demonstrated a quick way to watermark images via Photoshop using Layer Styles. For MORE protection you can use a Digimarc watermark (accessed via Photoshop’s filter menu). Digimarc is like LoJack for your images, and provides Internet tracking. Loyal readers can try Digimarc’s basic service FREE for 90 days; use the discount code FREETRIAL2010. Take 25% off ANY Digimarc service with code MediaCats2010. Join me next week as I’ll have a video tutorial on how to use Digimarc in Photoshop to watermark your images.
UPDATE 07/21/2010 – I wanted to answer some of the questions posed in the comments. I have verified that if you TAG someone the image is NOT collected in a photo album, therefore it DOES NOT appear via Facebook Connect. This is good information for everyone who tags their clients. Photo albums, profile pictures, & mobile uploads appear when using the Walmart photo center. I did not conduct testing against the other apps listed in the comments, but I assume similar behavior. To find all the retail centers, many suggested to search Facebook for “print” then filter by Applications. This worked well for me.
Several folks commented that people can still save the image to their own computer for printing–that is true. It’s also true that by uploading the image to the Internet it can be taken by anyone. The measures suggested for securing your photos serve more as a deterrent and are not absolute controls. Thieves are lazy, and will take the path of least resistance. RC Concepcion wrote two articles that appear in the last two issues of Photoshop User magazine. He has some great recommendations as to why you would or wouldn’t watermark your images online. If you’re a member of NAPP you can access the back issues online. (If you join with my referral link, you’ll get a free DVD on signup)
UPDATE 07/18/2010 – Thanks to everyone for sharing this article. There have been some good comments, including the fact Walmart is not the only retail print option. As suggested by Rachel, I would block other print apps from companies such as Target, Walgreens, etc. If you’re new to the site, checkout the Tip Tuesday series for video tutorial content.