You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Found Photos

Beware of the file share! Those pictures in my pictures may find their way onto the web unbeknownest to you!

Most people who use file-sharing networks are looking for music. Rich Vogel uses them to find photos, many of which were never meant to be shared with the world.

One day while searching for new MP3 audio files, Mr. Vogel, a 31-year-old musician in Grand Rapids, Mich., browsed through a user's shared folder on the Soulseek network. He was surprised to find some photographs. "It was like landing in the middle of someone's life," he said.

He began searching other peer-to-peer, or P2P services, using the phrase "my pictures," and found that thousands of photo folders had been made available to the public, most of them, he suspects, inadvertently. He selects the more interesting examples and exhibits them at his site as found photos More than 300 have been posted there so far. The photos - of parties and their aftermaths, wounds, kisses, infants - reflect Mr. Vogel's sensibility but also offer a window into the lives of the P2P generation.

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