The new Swedish website Bildkollen (“Image Check”), which is backed by Rädda Barnen, the Swedish arm of Save the Children, can help you can track down where your photos have ended up on the web.
“We have seen examples of children’s photos that have been taken completely out of context and ended up on porn sites. There is always a risk that the images could be used in a bad way,” said Pernilla Norström, project manager at Rädda Barnen to the TT news agency.
The website, which goes live this week, helps users track images by entering the URL on the website. Once loaded onto the server, it compares the photo with all the others that are in the database and also makes it possible to subscribe to updates for a specific image that you want to keep an eye on.
Bildkollen is linked to an image search engine called TinEye. TinEye hosts over 1.5 billion images and the database is updated continuously when images are posted online. The service can identify whether the image is cropped or is the original version.
Popular sites where users post pictures include Facebook, Bilddagboken, Fotosidan and Flickr. Images that are posted on blogs, for example, can be stolen by anyone, often without the creator’s knowledge.
“A photo can spread very quickly across the internet,” Norström said.
Bildkollen, mainly aimed at children and adolescents, was developed by Rädda Barnen in conjunction with advertising agency Åkestam Holst and web hosting firm Perfect Fools.
“We want to have a debate about network security and attract the attention of young people about the risks associated with uploading pictures of oneself,” said Norström.
The site also offers advice on what to do if one finds pictures of oneself in an inappropriate context.