Be Mindful of Serial Numbers When Posting Your Gun Photos Online

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posted on October 28, 2019
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Because of data-mining abilities in this digital age, you may want to be mindful of posting photos of your firearms online with visible serial numbers to deter the creation of a firearms database.

Technology advances may enable your gun photos to be archived and aggregated online for searching.

While it is unknown if anyone is doing such tracking, it may be wise to ensure your serial numbers don’t show up in your firearms photos.

Recently, The Firearm Blog did an experiment on firearm photos after reading an article called “Google and Facebook Are Reading Your License Plates.”

The premise was that optical-character recognition—a process used to allow pictures showing license plates to be read and sorted—could be applied as well to photos of guns, provided the serial number shows on the photo. The Blog writer extended the search to suppressors and got hits on those and firearms.

According to the Blog, “It’s clear that the firearms community is not being singled out by this data mining operation.  And no, you as an individual cannot readily lookup someone’s personal information with only firearm serial numbers. … Regardless…the knowledge of this publicly available data mine is unsettling.”

That said, it is best to not have legible serial numbers on any firearms-related photos you post on the internet or in social media images.

You may want to take the extra time to make sure that the serial numbers aren’t readable. This simple step could deter having your information compiled in a firearms database that could be used by anti-gunners.

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