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Marketing Firms Scanning Your Social Media Pics

by Kurt Knutsson

1.8 billion photos posted each day to sites like Instagram each day. Your friends and family are not the only ones looking at your photos anymore. Big brands are now using software such as Ditto to scan photos posted online for clues about prospective customers. So how can you keep your information safe and do we need to be worried about it?


Ditto Labs analyzes photos and stores extraordinary detail..in fact it claims to scan for 2,500 details in each photo from logo detection to fabrics. The software not only identifies products and logos, it can tell what else it is being photographed with and how people feel about it based on the facial expressions and choice of words. It looks at your expression in a photo to rate your “Facial Mood Score” meaning it can tell how you feel based on a smile or frown. For example, when Adidas shoes are featured in photos, the software can tell what else people like.. it turns out that 12% of people who wear Adidas shoes also like Justin Bieber. The time photos are taken is also closely examined. Budweiser has learned that beer drinking peaks at 11pm. Ditto is currently scanning pics on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr social networks.


  • it may offer things to you more closely to what you already enjoy. example: it may know you often appear to be dancing and spend time at concerts.. that could lead to you being pushed with targeted ads for music purchases or event vacation packages.
  • it can help businesses know you better so that they avoid offering things they know you don’t like and focus on things you do


  • Some people see this as invasive and commercial exploitation of your personal life
  • It is does not require your active permission
  • There is no way to Opt Out when publicly sharing photos
  • You have no control over the database being collected on you and your photos


  • Should we be told when our photos are being recorded and analyzed?
  • Should it require our permission?
  • Should this area of data collection be regulated?


  • avoid posting your photos on sites that are not private
  • make sure you set privacy controls to prevent your images going public on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and flickr
  • don’t post photos at all

Kurt CyberGuy Knutsson Marketing firms scanning your social media pics

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