Is How-Old.net More Than Just Fun and Games?

By admin | May 5th, 2015

If you’ve played around with Microsoft’s new app – How-Old.net, you’ve probably had a great time uploading photos of you and your family and friends to see just how close Microsoft can get to guessing your age properly. Unfortunately though, you probably didn’t read the fine print associated with uploading your photo into the app before you actually did the uploading.

How-Old.net

According to Consumerist, uploading your photo has more ramifications than just seeing if your laugh lines are aging you dramatically. By uploading an image, you’re giving Microsoft permission to use the image in any way they’d like. The app is not designed as a stand-alone good time, but rather a bit of a gimmick for Microsoft to show off their Azure cloud platform and services. And within the fine print of Azure’s Terms of Service is the following text,

 [B]y posting, uploading, inputting, providing, or submitting your Submission, you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies, and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate, and reformat your Submission; to publish your name in connection with your Submission; and to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Website Services.

That’s some pretty heavy stuff, and it’s a great reminder of why it’s important to read the fine print every time (or at least skim it).

Yes, it may seem a daunting task – reading the seemingly endless pages of tiny text every time you download an app or visit a website – but in today’s digital climate it’s important to remember that the more connected we are, the less privacy we have. There have been numerous rumors of Facebook users who click to a website on their computer, or even walk into a store, only to see a photo of themselves smiling back at them because Facebook has reserved the right to utilize user photos.

How do you feel about the How-Old.net app and the ownership of your photos? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook!

{Editor’s Note: Since the article in Consumerist came out, Microsoft has clarified that while all websites and apps sitting on Azure are governed by the Azure Terms of Service, which does – in fact – contain the language regarding photo and information ownership shown above, the makers of How-Old.net have chosen not to store any personal information or photos when the app is used – so you’re safe! But that doesn’t change the fact that you should always, always be aware of where your personal information is going, and what is going to be done with it.}

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