Who owns the pictures you post on social media?

PHOENIX - What good is social media without pictures?

It's one of the best parts of having access to websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

But it comes with a sacrifice of privacy and control of your pictures.

A report on tech site Mashable.com says by joining Facebook, you give the site "permission to use your photos and videos for whatever it wants."

While Facebook's terms and conditions state "privacy is very important to us."  It also says with photos and video, "you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to us any IP content that you post."

Instagram says basically the same thing. 

Twitter says it makes content  "available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication" 

Translation: you may still own the pictures you post, but you certainly don't control them.

Protecting yourself is common sense. Assume everything you post is public, and think twice before you post.

Much of the caution has to do with kids photos.

Facebook offers privacy settings where you can limit the people who see those photos.  Only a select group can share the latest kid pics and news.  

Regardless of your settings, this is a reminder: if it's something you don't want the world to see, don't put it up.

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