Oh, the times they are a’changing (or at least I have..a bit)

I know that the only thing constant is change. I get that.

And, I have been dealing with a huge change in my life for almost 5 years. But, there are other changes that are happening around me all of the time and I have suddenly become aware of one that is more related to my techy-feely self.

I am slmost three years into a new gig at my place of employment. This new job spread out my interests to well beyond what I was doing back in, what I consider, my heyday of my professional life. Back then, I was often sacrificing myself to the gods of Web 2.0 (my description to most faculty.) This meant that I was signing up for every new service that came along to explore how it worked, what it could do and how it might be useful in the classroom.

It. Was. Fun!

Over the long (even longer weekend – thanks snow days!), I saw many folks posting their selfie paired with a painting using Google’s new Arts & Culture app. What a great idea – take your selfie and Google pairs it with a painting of your doppleganger. Who could resist seeing if you were captured years ago by Van Gogh, Picasso, or Rembrandt?

Well, I can. I just feel like I have to.

And this is how I have changed. Now that I have to take into account data security with pretty much every decision I make these days, my first thought when I heard about this new app was – “woah! I’m not sending in my picture to Google.” Which is the exact opposite of what I would have thought ten years or maybe even five years ago. Of course, I have photos uploaded on Google Drive from the old Picasa days. But, I know where those are and they aren’t being scanned to match anything. At least I don’t think they are. I guess I kinda assume they are being scanned at some level.

But, to just take and send a face photo into the unknown seemed too creepy for me. Where are these photos going? How is the facial recognition working? WHat will it be used for later? I am assuming that Google is using this to finetune and perfect its facial recognition based on if you share it and what reactions you get to how well (or not well) the match works.

So, I have changed. I’m much more privacy aware. I’m also aware of how often others are trying to get to data. It’s a strange, new world out there.

But, it is a world that won’t have my selfie in the Google database just yet.