Incident 298: Student-Developed Facial Recognition App Raised Ethical Concerns

Description: TheFaceTag app, a social networking app developed and deployed within-campus by a student at Harvard raised concerns surrounding its facial recognition, cybersecurity, privacy, and misuse.
Alleged: Yuen Ler Chow developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed TheFaceTag app users.

Suggested citation format

Pednekar, Sonali. (2021-10-21) Incident Number 298. in Lam, K. (ed.) Artificial Intelligence Incident Database. Responsible AI Collaborative.

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Incident Reports

Can I Scan Your Face?

An idea that began as a joke between freshmen in Annenberg soon blossomed into a full-fledged app whose name evokes a certain 2004 project by a Harvard sophomore. Early in the endeavor to create the app FaceTag, concerns over ethics and pri…

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A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.