A couple weeks ago Tim Berry posted about how social media is actually publishing, and if you publish, you are not private, and how people you might not want to read your posts, such as employers, licensing boards, etc., may do just that.

Here is another example of how what you put up on the Internet is no longer yours to keep. On June 10 the Associated Press reported on a U.S. family photo becoming an advertisement in the Czech Republic.

The family is from Missouri. The picture of mom, dad and kids was for the 2008 holiday season greetings. They posted it on a blog, gave it to a few friends, and uploaded to some social networks.

Then this past May a friend was traveling in the Czech Republic. There, in a Prague grocery store window, was a life-size picture of the family, pitching Euro-foods. The store owner got the photo from the Web, and didn’t think they were real people.

The family and the store owner appear to be settling the issue amiably. Yet, nobody seems to know how the photo got into the Internet’s broader public domain, but it points up that nothing on the Web is as secure as we think and wish it is. And certainly nothing uploaded to social networking platforms is private and secure.

So before you become a publisher, and splash your words and pictures out where everyone in the world can see them, think very, very carefully. Anything you say or show, can and will be used against and despite you.

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