The “streaking era” of the Internet

Last weekend, my circle of friends became a big tearing scene. Half of the people have spent many years dreaming of a software called “ZAO”. They appeared in the famous scenes of many TV dramas and played against their favorite stars. The other half fired on the software’s user agreement—in the original version, users were required to authorize ZAO “to be completely free, irrevocable, permanent, transferable, and licensable globally…” Some people worry that people with ulterior motives will use their software-generated video to steal their own Alipay.

In the face of surging public opinion, the software quickly updated the relevant agreements and modified the uncomfortable content of those mouthfuls, but the new agreement only expressed similar meaning in a more euphemistic way. People shouted to protect privacy and data security, but the body was honestly using it. The software was on the top 10 of Weibo’s hot search on August 31. Less than 24 hours later, it was ranked first in the Apple App Store free app download ranking. The last software with such heat is Wang Congcong’s daily “singing coin” 100,000 yuan summit.

If you have seen the relevant agreement of ZAO completely, you may not be so angry. At least from the perspective of the agreement itself, there is no essential difference between the terms of the face unlocking, face registration and face-lifting that we can easily agree with, but the way of expression is arrogant. We are not the first time we have seen such arrogance. Before sending Weibo, you must first agree to “all content published by users on the Weibo platform, Weibo will enjoy the exclusive publishing platform rights”, you only have the right to sign; in order to order a takeaway, you have to open the address book to the software. Also allow it to read photo albums. disagree? The program exits immediately.

Living in this Internet age, you have to give up some basic privacy in order to get the convenience of life. Li Yanhong once said, “Chinese people are not so sensitive to privacy… they are willing to exchange convenient services or efficiency with privacy.” This has caused an uproar, but in fact, in the context of the Internet giants competing with each other, users really do not have any “sensitive” capital. Taking care of privacy, the result is to live back to the last century. Standing in the position of Internet companies, it is not difficult to understand their hunger for data. User data is a valuable asset that can’t be bought at all. Sometimes, the application of these data is not so “bad.” Based on the music I’ve heard in the past, the movies I’ve seen, the platform can recommend works that I might like; the search history makes the shopping platform more aware of what I need.

But as a user, Internet companies’ spying on privacy is only uncomfortable. What’s more, it’s not uncommon for user data to be stolen or even sold by a service provider. A personal information containing a name, mobile number, and ID number is only a few cents in the black market. For less than 100 yuan, you can easily get a person’s opening record, flight itinerary, and even when he ordered what to take out and where to send it.

Today, with the popularity of smartphones, privacy is almost non-existent. The Wi-Fi you are connected to exposes your whereabouts, the links and advertisements you click on in search engines expose your hobbies, and the products you search for in Taobao expose your level of consumption.

According to a report in the New York Times, in the United States alone, at least 75 companies are engaged in positioning-related businesses, tracking as many as 200 million mobile phones. Stealing is not the most worrying issue because it has a very low probability of happening. Including ZAO, all current face-changing software is based on an open source AI technology called GANS, which has a very mature authentication mechanism.

Current technologies are also working to fill gaps in possible data breaches. At the time of identity authentication, there are not enough ID cards, and users are often required to take photos with their ID cards. Before using facial recognition for the first time, users are often asked to blink and nod their heads. On September 3, ZAO also issued a statement stating that ZAO will not store personal facial biometric features, delete information or cancel accounts, and ZAO will comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Perhaps we should be more worried about how these videos that seem to be taken out by me are used and how they are used. At the legal level, ZAO is easy to comply with, but users still have to deal with huge risks, not every company has the ability to keep user information confidential. Even Internet giants such as Netease have experienced large-scale user account and password leaks.

I have to admit that in the application of new technologies, black production is more careful than the average person. In March 2018, Facebook was exposed to more than 50 million user data leaks and used to influence the US elections; the use of big data to kill people has also occurred from time to time. Some people speculate that AI face change may be used to deceive the elderly, or to pretend to be a public prosecution fraud. Not everyone has heard of this technology, and only a few AI companies have provided the public with a service to change face videos.

In response, the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018, which stipulates that users have the right to be forgotten. Penalties for illegal companies can reach 20 million euros, or 4% of their global turnover, whichever is higher. After the regulations came into effect, many websites and software directly blocked the EU region, or provided a simple text-only service to EU users. In March 2017, the content related to personal information protection was also included in the general rules of our national law.

In June of the same year, the “Internet Security Law of the People’s Republic of China” was implemented, including the protection of personal information. The Supreme Law and the highest inspection also introduced individual citizens. Interpretation of several issues in the law applicable to information. The data defined by GDPR also includes genetic data, biometric data including faces and fingerprints. But today, with the rapid development of technology, new problems have emerged.

In face recognition technology, the face image is privacy, but the corresponding number in the recognition system of the face image is not personal information? Although this series of numbers cannot reverse the image, it is like an ID number, and each face is different and one-to-one correspondence. Legislation against such technical details remains blank. Living in this information society, although I have always tried to protect my privacy, on the fact that I have been on the Internet for many years, I have almost been “streaking”. Realizing this, I no longer care about the “consent” that the Internet company has made me want.