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Giving the Right of Data Privacy to our Kids

Emily Wenger

Have you ever thought about what happens to your pictures once they’ve been uploaded to Facebook? Have you been thinking about how Facial Recognition will be used in the future? PhD candidate, Emily Wenger has a solution of keeping our data safe and private.

You can follow Emily on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more about Fawkes here.

Following from her Are You a Robot? interview, Emily gives an insight as to how the future generation can mask their identity against facial recognition technology so that their personal data is kept private. In order to do this, Emily and her team at the University of Chicago have recently been working on Fawkes, a system that alters images in such a way to confuse facial recognition engines yet be unchanged to the human eye in order to protect photos on social media sites. Emily is already aware that our generation has lost its ability to be unrecognized on the internet, however, with the creation of Fawkes, it is possible for our future generation’s identity and photos to be protected against facial recognition systems.

However, are there any ethical issues that can arise from masking ourselves around Facial Recognition? Frequently asked questions around Fawkes include the hindering of key advantages that facial recognition technology brings, for example, whether Fawkes will make police surveillance and finding criminals harder. Emily delves deeper into these issues in the podcast episode, explaining that Fawkes works alongside AI benefits.

"I hope that we're always a little sceptical of machines and their abilities to do things perfectly that humans themselves can't do perfectly."

Emily also suggests other ways in which we can stop illegitimate uses of machine learning, for example, through education. Through ethics courses for machine learning and AI students, Emily hopes to encourage her future classes to think skeptically about the uses of machine learning, thinking about repercussions these technologies may have, especially regarding privacy and data.

What are other ways in which we can rally a community to remain skeptical about these technologies? Is it possible to regain anonymity on the internet? Listen to Are You A Robot? with Emily to hear more about Fawkes and given a choice to remain anonymous on the internet!

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