Getty's free image embedding comes at a price

The good news is that Getty Images is to allow free-of-charge use of many images. The bad news is that you have to use official embed code, inserting an iframe whose contents they maintain control over. The EFF's Parker Higgins points out that, just as with YouTube, Facebook, Google, and other third-party embedded services, the image is watching you, too:

These concerns might be mitigated by a strong privacy policy or some indication of what Getty intends to log and how it's going to use it. Unfortunately, we've gotten the opposite. A business development executive at Getty Images told The Verge that the company has "certainly thought about" monetizing usage data, but has no specific plans. We spoke to a representative of Getty Images who said that at this time it does not collect information beyond what's necessary to store aggregate viewing numbers for individual images. That's commendable, but since that practice is significantly more privacy-protective than what the company claims in its general privacy policy—last updated in May 2012—it could change at any time. Best practices are to minimize the amount of data collected and held to meet a site's needs, but that's at odds with an incentive to collect-it-all and sort out what's needed later.

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