Tips + Tricks

Ponga pictures and albums you create are private, only you can share them. These are collected best practices for inviting contributors.

What is PII? Personally Identifiable Information and How it Impacts Sharing

Ponga pictures and albums you create are private, only you can share them. These are collected best practices for inviting contributors.

Since Ponga pictures and albums include faces and stories that relate to personal history, they often also include a lot of personal information. Some information may be very personal, yet not very obvious.

Imagine, for example, a photo of a cousin’s birthday party that’s themed around the Fourth of July. Details in the image, like a sign, may well also date the year, and the person celebrating. Suddenly the entire picture, while innocuous fun, now specifies someone’s birth date and age. Sharing that picture on a public forum like Facebook makes personally identifiable information (PII) about a living person accessible on the web. That’s the kind of thing that can subject them to unintended mischief, identity theft, and even fraud.

The genealogical community has wrestled with these kinds of issues for years and developed thoughtful guidelines that apply quite directly to the challenges of sharing pictures with information. We recommend studying these tested best practices in sharing your own pictures:

National Genealogical Society: Recommended Guidelines for Sharing Information with Others

Instead of sharing that picture of the birthday party as an image file on Facebook, for example, sharing it on Ponga with a specific list of guest contributors invites them directly to share memories while protecting personally identifiable information.

If it’s too much trouble to add the seven cousins names and email addresses each time, you can create an album just to share with that designated group. Every picture you add to that album is automatically shared with everyone in that group — even as it’s entirely private. They can’t re-share it, though they can ask you to add others. You can add others to the whole album or to one picture at a time. Privacy is controlled at the picture level. As the owner of a picture, you can always

  • see which albums the picture has been added to and
  • remove it from any album at any time
  • remove any guest contributor at any time

Alternatively, if you have a picture including detail you’d like to get insight on from a forum dedicated to dating old photographs, you might consider sharing the image file or soliciting the group for individuals who might be interested in offering feedback.

Currently, Ponga pictures are always private and cannot be shared publicly. If you have some specific interest in this area, please reach out with the chat window. We’d love to talk to you.

Photo credit:  Chris Curry on Unsplash.

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