The private photo booth pictures you took at the Drake Hotel were totally public
Automated photo booths really tend to bring out the wild side in people, especially people who are drinking.
I know this from experience, and also because I looked at hundreds of pictures this week that were taken, at one time or another, in the old-timey kiosk at Toronto's Drake Hotel.
Some were cute, many were silly and at least a few could be properly categorized as NSFW. I'm talking full-frontal photo booth nudity, snapped in a seemingly-private booth but accessible to anyone on the internet with just a little bit of know-how.
Someone with a Twitter account called @HeyFixYourShit reached out earlier this week via email to explain how they'd been able to view every photo ever taken in the Drake Hotel's photo booth by manipulating a URL attached to a QR code at the base of printouts.
While it is unclear exactly how far back the photos go, tens of thousands could be found on the Drake's server.
"Each photobooth strip that comes out comes with a unique QR code, that will lead the person scanning the code directly to their photo only," says Ana Yuristy, Executive Director of Corporate Services for Drake Hotel Properties.
"We have heard from our guests that having their photo booth photos available online is really useful, as people love sharing the photos they take in our classic photo booth."
Yuristy confirmed that the only way to see anyone else's photo would be to manually change the numbers in the URL, as @HeyFixYourShit did. The base URL itself could only be found using the QR code and is not indexed by Google.
.@thedrakehotel You have some major security issues with your photo booths. The booths' curtains are harder to get access to than the photos on your server. @Indie88Toronto #heyfixyourshit #toronto pic.twitter.com/sQkyd7nNbd— HeyFixYourShit (@HeyFixYourShit) December 20, 2018
The popular bar and restaurant isn't taking any chances, however, now that it's aware of how some people have been using the website.
"We have taken the website down for now while we look into ways of making this more encrypted and we genuinely appreciate this guest bringing this forward," said The Drake in a statement, noting that "guest safety and security is really important to us."
The base URL initially provided by @HeyFixYourShit now displays a "Not Found" message.
For now, photo booth fans will have to be content with their printout strips—though I suppose lacking immediate access your photos online is better than having your risque pictures fall into the wrong hands.
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