Who Really Owns Our Data?

Recently, FaceApp, the Russian-based application known for its aging filters gained attention after it was found out to be uploading the users’ face to its  servers.

FaceApp Terms and Conditions state:

“You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.”

In essence, FaceApp could use your photos and other content for pretty much any purpose of the developers.

This is concerning, but you are most likely granting permissions of this sort to other apps, too.

You get permission, you get permission, you…

Each day, we give out so much information to mobile applications in exchange for the convenience of getting to use their features. The developers, on the other hand, can use this information for the purpose of boosting engagement or getting advertisers to partner with them. It can also be used to develop their AI capabilities, using user information as training sets.

With the recent news of data breaches, however, this is scary for some.

On the flip side, several studies found that a lot of consumers are willing to share their personal data if this will entail increased security, convenience, or other benefits.

The inevitable

Going around in the world today will entail giving out personal information in one way or another. Every day, we give out our name, contact details, email, and other information to gain access to services online and offline.

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While giving out information is unavoidable, we have to be mindful of what information we are sharing to the applications that we use. Now that the amount of data is overflowing, our leaders should also look into fortifying the protection that citizens have when it comes to data privacy.

Enabling access

Right now, being mindful of how our information is used is quite difficult. With a huge block of text that is “Terms and Conditions,” users tend to just scroll through and click “Accept.” While for legal purposes, such intricacies cannot be omitted, developers should condense and highlight the implications of granting app permissions for those who cannot bother to read the entire text.

Preserving data privacy is a matter of cooperating amongst the users, the government, and the developers. With everyone doing their part, we can avoid the massive data breaches that we have witnessed in the past from happening once more.

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