Disney photo privacy questions raised by new ‘Let the Memories Begin’ campaign

Walt Disney World and Disneyland are inviting guests to share their Disney Parks memories in the form of photos, video and stories submitted to a Disney Web site as part of a 2011 marketing campaign called “Let the Memories Begin.” Videos shot by Disney visitors are being used in TV commercials for the theme parks.

And a key component of the new marketing campaign starts early this year, when Disney will begin projecting images of guests in the park that day on Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World and on It’s A Small World at Disneyland.

So, how will those images be chosen, and what if you don’t want your larger-than-life likeness shown?

Disney says the up to 500 photos used daily will be provided by Disney PhotoPass Photographers, those guys and gals who stop you and ask to take your picture at various scenic locations throughout Disney’s theme parks.

You will be able to opt out and keep your photo out of the nightly show, Disney tells the Orlando Sentinel. That’s a smart move for a company using the images in what is essentially another piece of a marketing campaign.

However, on an individual basis, you should know that photos taken of you inside U.S. theme parks are pretty much fair game. If your image winds up on someone else’s Twitter stream or Flickr account, there’s really nothing you can do.

Some theme parks print a generic “use of likeness” release on the physical ticket you are given; others include it in the terms and conditions you agree to when purchasing tickets online.

But lawyers say that even without some sort of printed photo release, you don’t have much recourse if you want a photo removed from, say, someone else’s Facebook. With thousands of people taking thousands of photos every day, there’s no real expectation of privacy if your face is captured in the crowd.

How to get the travelers file that Homeland Security has on you

Maybe your Homeland Security file is wafer thin– not much in it that would excite even your grandmother, but if you’re curious to find out what the U.S. government has been collecting on you, here’s the way to get the scoop. The Identity Project has down-loadable request forms that you fill out and mail to the address printed on the documents. You can find out some of the information, although possibly not all of it.

What you’ll eventually get back is any unclassified information like PNRs, APIS Data; and secondary search records. Huh? I don’t know quite what those mean. And, what good does it do to know that stuff? It seems the classified info is the juiciest. At least it’s a start and could help folks feel satisfied and more comfortable that they have a bit of a handle on what the government is up to when it comes to background checks.

Also, as we’ve pointed out, besides your travel habits, your gestures and behaviors, what you put up on the Internet is up for grabs when it comes to keeping track of just who and what you are. [via boingboing]