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Tech Report: New Photo App Raises Privacy Concerns

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The Verizon version of the Apple iPhone. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

The Verizon version of the Apple iPhone. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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OAKLAND (KCBS/AP) — We’ve all been to weddings where the bride and groom hand out disposable cameras to capture every angle of their big day.

A new application called Color allows you to do something similar with your phone, by sharing your images, videos and comments with anyone who comes within 50 feet of you. However, privacy advocates say the technology raises some concerns.

KCBS’ Larry Magid:

The free app figures out if other users are close by using a secret blend of GPS data, ambient noise and even light. Then your updates become available to them and you in turn see theirs.

”If you and I walk into a restaurant and I start taking pictures with this app, of course I would share the pictures with you because you’re my friend,” said KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid. “But everyone else in the restaurant who has this app automatically gets access to my pictures, and I get access to theirs. And we’re not just talking about the pictures taken in the restaurant, but maybe the ones they took at the daycare center of their kids a few hours earlier. Or what about kids taking pictures at slumber parties that they probably shouldn’t be taking? Those pictures are going to follow them wherever they go.”

The app is available initially on iPhones and Android-based smartphones.

It was created by a group of technologists led by CEO Bill Nguyen, who sold digital music locker site Lala.com to Apple Inc. for an estimated $85 million in 2009.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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