FaceApp, an application, shows you how you would look like in your golden years when you upload a headshot on it. It is no doubt fun and entertaining. Everyone uploads their aged look on their social media and everyone has fun. What we do not bother ourselves with while having fun, are the privacy issues. Do we actually think about our digital privacy?
David Choffnes, an assistant professor at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences says, “Thinking about privacy is not something that we as a society have been taught to prioritise, and also instinctively it’s not something that’s innate to us. We often value convenience, entertainment, trust in our friends, and peers when they share something with us; you know, we’re social creatures.”
The app provides us with a terms and conditions agreement which the user generally agrees without giving it a thorough read. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? After all, everyone is using it. There are multiple security risks associated with this. They can Photoshop your face into another image which might be compromising, or they can use your facial data to log into your accounts which use the face-unlock feature.
Now-a-days, we use biometrics to unlock our devices, which holds our personal information and accounts, face-unlock being one of them. You are practically signing away the rights to your face when you sign up for this particular app. The user agreement says that the app has the right to use the photos uploaded for commercial purposes. What is to stop them from selling your pictures to the highest bidder?
We follow social trends blindly, and almost religiously, without pausing once to think of the consequences. We do not stop to consider the digital privacy issues! Who cares for the fine print? It is mostly gibberish to all of us, boring terms which you are going to accept at the end after all. While it is fun to use such apps, one must also stay vigilant. We hold the key to our privacy, our face being one of those keys.