Jennifer Whitson weighing in on FaceApp on CBC

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Dr. Jennifer Whitson, GI faculty member, spoke to Ian Bickis, reporting for the Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on July 17 about the viral photo editor FaceApp and the growing concerns about its Terms of Use. Dr. Whitson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies, and also teaches at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

FaceApp is one of the latest social media fads, digitally altering appearances using face recognition technology. Users developed a "FaceApp Challenge" that incites people to share a digitally aged photo of themselves.

Privacy experts are worried about the app's Terms of Use including rights to reproduce, modify, publish, and share photos and user content. The concern is that the Terms can be used as a way for the company to monetize the data they collect, as do many other app companies:

"Always remember, if it's free, think about how is this company making their money," Dr. Whitson told CBC.

"They speculate that the data that they collect as you use their services will be useful to some party at some time in the future"

-- Dr. Jennifer Whitson

Dr. Whitson is an affiliated faculty member with the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre (TAG) at Concordia University. She is also the associate editor of "Surveillance & Society", an academic journal that publishes innovative and transdisciplinary work on surveillance that encourages debate about policy and politics surrounding surveillance.

Read the full article here

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