Voice Box: Privacy policies

Interviews by Myisha Kinberg, Staff Writer
Photos by Morgan Filsinger, Photographer

How does it make you feel when an app asks you for your personal information in order to use or download it? And how do you feel about the fact that people you don’t know can access your personal information online?


Daniel Harsh

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Daniel Harsh, 19, Tipton, undecided

“It’s a trade off we take between the freedoms that we have and the amount of service we get from the app. Things like Google require a lot of information, but we get so many free benefits. I’m willing to give up my privacy to get these free services that I might have had to pay for if I had used other companies.”




Adam Saunders

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Adam Saunders, 25, Ypsilanti, photography

“I think it’s a good thing because it makes people more aware that they are allowing their information to be out in public. I don’t read privacy policies, but sometimes I do research on why an application would need or how they would use certain things such as my location. Anyone can access a phone number, a full name, and possibly a home address just by looking in a phone book whether we want that information to be out there or not it is. And it’s been public for a long time. It’s a more social culture now and instead of trying to be closed off from it, I think we should just be accepting.”



Edgar Vargas-Castillo

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Edgar Vargas-Castillo, 19, Canton, automotive services

“It depends on what an app is trying to access, if it’s my photos or microphone I don’t mind so much. I does make me feel weird to think about strangers looking at my personal information, but I think chances of strangers being interested in my stuff isn’t very big.”




Marc Stephens

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Marc Stephens, 47, Detroit, videography

“I don’t understand why I should give them my information. Sometimes I give out half-truths like the wrong age or a different last name since you have to enter something. When I post on Facebook I only post things that I want to share, but also won’t hurt me or get me in trouble. I wouldn’t be worried about people I know looking at my information because a lot of it has been public for quite sometime.”



Kelsey May

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Kelsey May, 14, Canton, journalism

“I usually allow apps to access my pictures, but not my location. It scares me to think that random people can view my personal information. When I see other people using location and putting out a lot of information about themselves on social media, it makes me think twice about what I’m posting. Why should I be holding information back and others are so upfront about theirs? It’s actually worrisome to me to think about what this world has come to and how easy it is to find someone and find out so much information about them with just a few clicks. There is no clear line as to how much exposed personal information is too much, and I think we need to set boundaries.”


Ryan Green

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Ryan Green, 17, Ypsilanti, undecided

“If I want to use an app I’m not going to delete it because it asks to access my photos or location. I do question why so many apps need my information and what it’s used for, but honestly I don’t care if apps access it.”




Anders Smith

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Anders Smith, 16, Ann Arbor, video production

“If I download an app to use its services I don’t feel like I should be required to give my information. Having that requirement almost feels like a double payment. If apps have my information they often use it to advertise things to me by sending me emails and potentially phone calls. I keep my account private on Instagram so that I can provide the information I want to, but only people I allow to follow me can see it. I like when you can use privacy settings because I can control everything more easily.



Ben Sussman

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Ben Sussman, 19, Brighton, math

“It depends of what kind of information the app is asking for, but generally I try to make my information as public as possible so people can find me easily.”




Christopher Dale

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Christopher Dale, 39, South Lyon, math and science

“I don’t mind letting apps access my personal information because I don’t feel like I have anything to hide. Even if I was bothered, I’m not sure I would know what to do since I still want to be on social media and that’s pretty hard to do without giving out information.”




Colin Gibson

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Colin Gibson, 19, Howell, automotive services

“I hit okay without reading privacy policies and let them have access when I download apps. It can be concerning to think that apps could say they just need to access my photos, but have other stuff hidden in the privacy policy knowing that most people don’t read the policies. If they wind up having stuff hidden, I think that is a bad business practice.”




Katie McCullough

Photo: Morgan Filsinger | Washtenaw Voice

Katie McCullough, 19, Ann Arbor, business

“I find it irritating and time consuming to have to allow access to all the different things apps feel they need to access when I download them. When I use social media I usually try to keep all my information private.”




Oré Abatan, 19, Ann Arbor, math and science

“I usually don’t allow apps access, but some apps won’t even let you use them without having access to your location. I often have to go back in to my settings and change it so access is allowed to the apps. I’ve never really thought much about this topic, but now that I am, it’s actually kind of scary to think about who’s looking at my pictures and what they could be doing with them. There’s so many fake accounts especially on Instagram. Unless I actually know the person it’s really hard to trust anyone.”



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