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Someone uploaded pictures of me (along with them) to Picasa along with my full legal name.
July 31, 2008 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Someone uploaded pictures of me (along with them) to Picasa along with my full legal name.

Now a Google image search with my name returns these images as the top 10 hits. I was not told these pictures would leave their camera and computer and migrate to the net.

The owner of the account is not very tech savvy and cannot log back in to Picasa because they forgot their login and secret answers.

After about 20-odd emails back and forth, nothing has been done, these pictures are still up.

What can I do to get them down? I dont want any lawyers involved since this is clearly a case of tech-infamiliarity and nothing malicious.

I'm not in the States. Neither is the Picasa account owner.
Can we get Picasa to take them down? How? Please help.
posted by anonymous to Technology (17 answers total)
 
The owner of the account is not very tech savvy and cannot log back in to Picasa because they forgot their login and secret answers.

This sounds like a BS excuse to me. Lawyer up, maybe? At least threaten legal action. That might jog their memory.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:00 AM on July 31, 2008


Why don't you start by contacting Picasa with your situation and the details of the account owner and your name. Or ask the owner to do so and send you a copy of the message once it has been sent. I don't know if they would automatically believe you, but it's at least a start in the right direction.

FWIW, I can understand forgetting a password, but I have a hard time believing that someone doesn't know the answer to their secret question. It's usually basic stuff, like what is the name of your first pet, what is your favorite color, where did you go to elementary school, or what is your mother's maiden name. With all due respect, if someone is savvy enough to create a google account and upload to picasa with your information attached, I think that the likelihood of them not knowing how to get back in there is small. I don't think it's as innocent as you/they claim. It's pretty easy to play dumb. Are they emailing you through a gmail account or a different mail account? If it's gmail for example, you are definitely being lied to, since the accounts are usually linked.
posted by ml98tu at 9:06 AM on July 31, 2008


You can report inappropriate content - that should get it removed pretty quickly I'd think.

Look at this picture for example (not mine - just a random photo I found). If you scroll down (right below the tags) and click "report inappropriate content", you should get some fairly quick action.

Good luck.
posted by jourman2 at 9:17 AM on July 31, 2008


This sounds like BS to me, too. As mentioned above, people forget their passwords all the time, but there are usually a few different ways to retrieve them as long as they are the legitimate account owners. Also, those options usually don't require someone to be tech savvy at all. Even so, if the password retrieval route is getting you nowhere, how would this person feel about deleting her account? Yes, it would be a pain to start over, but as long as those images are saved elsewhere, then it's totally doable. If you wanted to make this option more attractive you could offer to help with the process of establishing a new account, without pictures of you, of course. The suggestion of account deletion might also make certain people suddenly remember supposedly forgotten passwords and security question answers. Good luck!
posted by katemcd at 9:21 AM on July 31, 2008


Also, those options usually don't require someone to be tech savvy at all.

God, you'd think so, but my years spent working at a non-profit website tell me otherwise. A large number of people are completely incompetent when it comes to the web. I'm surprised they can tie their shoes in the morning.
posted by unixrat at 9:31 AM on July 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


FWIW, I can understand forgetting a password, but I have a hard time believing that someone doesn't know the answer to their secret question.

Eh, as someone who's signed up for sites for a one-off use, I've used bogus info when registering, and then forgotten what I used (needing it after I forgot the password, and used the site more than expected). I do think it could happen without something malicious going on.
posted by inigo2 at 9:38 AM on July 31, 2008


I second the suggestion that you contact Picasa (or Google in fact as they are the owners of Picasa) directly. This seems like a clear case of a breach of their Program Policy.
posted by electricinca at 9:49 AM on July 31, 2008


ml98tu writes "I have a hard time believing that someone doesn't know the answer to their secret question. It's usually basic stuff, like what is the name of your first pet, what is your favorite color, where did you go to elementary school, or what is your mother's maiden name."

Lots of people fill in false information for that stuff.
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 AM on July 31, 2008


Having said that I have tried in vain for the past 15 minutes to find a contact email address for Picasa Support so I hope someone else has uncovered a way of contacting them.
posted by electricinca at 10:09 AM on July 31, 2008


If the person is honestly willing to have those images removed, they can easily do so by submitting a DMCA complaint about the images. Google is obligated to take them down immediately. It doesn't involve any lawyers, and there's no risk/conflict for either of your since the action is by a copyright holder acting on his/her own behalf.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:26 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


At least threaten legal action.

Um, for what, exactly? anonymous doesn't hold the copyright to the pictures.
posted by oaf at 11:49 AM on July 31, 2008


@nakedcodemonkey: the poster is not necessarily the copyright holder, so a DCMA complaint may be off the mark. The creator of the photograph owns the copyright unless it has been assigned or the photo was a work for hire (depending on the local copyright laws). Copyright is distinct from the privacy rights a person might have to the use of his or her image. The World Intellectual Property Organization, a subagency of the UN, has a brief introduction to the issues. If the OP took the pictures, s/he would have grounds for a DCMA complaint; if the poster or a third party took them,

As for secret questions: I have trouble sometimes remembering my answer if the registration process gives me poor choices. Many choices, especially favorite book/sports team/food/Beatle/etc., can be hard to remember later if you read voraciously, don't follow sports, enjoy a wide range of foods, and can't decide between John and Ringo....
posted by brianogilvie at 11:50 AM on July 31, 2008


Oops. Forgot to finish the first paragraph, which should end, if the poster or third party took them, the OP does not have legal grounds for such a complaint.

Note to self: always proofread before hitting Post....
posted by brianogilvie at 11:52 AM on July 31, 2008


They'll need to log in to delete the account, so that doesn't really help here either.
posted by COD at 12:01 PM on July 31, 2008


brianogilvie, reread @nakedcodemonkey's reply. @ncm wasn't suggesting the OP push the DMCA complaint.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:48 PM on July 31, 2008


As for secret questions: I have trouble sometimes remembering my answer if the registration process gives me poor choices. Many choices, especially favorite book/sports team/food/Beatle/etc., can be hard to remember later if you read voraciously, don't follow sports, enjoy a wide range of foods, and can't decide between John and Ringo....

That's why I always choose questions with definite answers -- name of high school, city of birth, etc. Alternatively, someone I know always enters her mother's maiden name for any secret question, regardless of what the actual question is.

On topic, here's the Google Accounts sign-in help page. Maybe walk them through it if you must.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2008


For your sake, I hope you don't have a stalker or the kind of employer who frowns on this sort of thing. Report inappropriate content. Right now.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:13 PM on July 31, 2008


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