You No Longer Own Your Face

June 27, 2019

(The Atlantic) – This notion—of a “reasonable” expectation of privacy—guides researchers hoping to observe subjects in public.  But the very idea of what’s reasonable is a complicated one. Faculty at three universities—Duke, Stanford, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs—are currently facing backlash after creating databases built using surveillance footage of students as they walked through cafes and on college campuses. You might reasonably expect being overheard in a coffeeshop, but that’s different than suddenly becoming a research subject, part of a data set that can live forever.