There’s something rather interesting we recently discovered about Facebook. It seems you can look for your car, or at least photos of it, by typing in the vehicle’s plate number in the search bar. We’ve tried it ourselves, and it worked. Some of us here even saw some photos of our cars that we’ve never seen before.
Disturbing? No doubt.
The discovery comes from a thread about vehicle plates and privacy on the How’s Your Project Car Pare Facebook Group. Specifically, one commenter pointed out the ability to lookup vehicles through their plate number on Facebook. At first, we thought it was just for our cars, given Facebook’s complex algorithms. But, it seems even other people’s cars were easy to find. All we had to do was type in their vehicle’s plate number.
If you’re someone trying to stay private or lowkey, well, you now have even more reason to blur out your vehicle’s plates before posting them on social media. But if someone took photos of your car and posted it on their social media page or account without blurring the plate, then there’s not much you can do about it anymore. Even photos you posted will be there for everyone to see, assuming the settings are public.
For those that want their lives to be a bit more private, this can be an issue. While a photo of your car isn’t technically harmful, it can show certain information such as where you live, who you’re with, and even where you are at the moment of posting. With that, those that want to do you harm might be able to use it to their advantage. At the same time, you and your vehicle lose privacy when going around town. That said, it’s best to blur out your vehicle’s plate number if ever you want to post it on social media.
Thankfully, not all cars will have photos show up by searching for their plate number on Facebook. From the looks of it, if you haven’t publicly posted a photo of your vehicle online with a clear view of the plate number, it won’t show up on the Facebook searches. If your vehicle is fitted with vanity plates, you’re in the clear too. However, if a page does post a photo of your vehicle with a clear image of the plate, it will show up. Don’t want photos of your car floating on Facebook? You can ask the page nicely if they can either blur the plate or take the post down.
So remember, internet and social media fame does come at a price. The more your vehicle is posted on social media, the easier it is for people to find photos of your vehicle by using the plate number search on Facebook. Then again, if your car is unique or stands out a lot wherever you go, privacy might have been thrown out the window already.