Microsoft reassures users of ‘How-Old’ internet craze that photos are not kept

Image Credit: How-Old.net

With the apathetic nature people take towards the nefarious invasions of privacy, sometimes it seems odd when people express paranoia over volunteered information on the internet. Such is the case with users of recent internet craze, How-Old.net. The photo analysis website associated with Microsoft is garnering some concerns over whether or not photos volunteered by users during the age-based analysis are being kept by Microsoft. While the home page disclaimer for How-Old.net is clearly labeled, “P.S. We don’t keep the photo,” the ToS for the appear slightly different.

“By 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.”

Without the explicit “we don’t keep photos” phrase not being in clear view, some skittish users were understandably worried about the intentions of Microsoft regarding personal photos that were submitted. Based on the vocal swell of concerns, users are concerned that without Microsoft explicitly stating they won’t keep pictures, that, in fact, the confusing ToS would allow How-Old.net to keep the photos.

However, GlobalNews is reporting that Microsoft is denying that the image guessing site maintains any photos, beyond the initial review. Microsoft further clarifies, “the tool uses the Terms of Use agreement for Microsoft Azure – the cloud service the app was built on. However, developers get to choose how their apps work, and How-Old.net’s developers chose not to store the photos uploaded to the website.” The How-Old.net developers have also stepped up to offer clearer assurances:

“While we use the terms of service very common in our industry, and similar to most other online services, we have chosen not to store or use the photos in any way other than to temporarily process them to guess your age.”

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