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Video Privacy App ‘Can’t Post It’ Means Well, but Could Be Misused

Anyway, some videos will be posted

  • It makes sense to use camera flash to destroy licensed images and music to disrupt audio (and prevent online posting).
  • While the strobe effect may not be as effective in daylight, it does away with noise.
  • It’s also possible that people could abuse the app to deliberately suppress videos of important events.

Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Internet video has become almost ubiquitous in recent years, especially now that so many people carry pocket-sized high-definition cameras around. Of course, many of these videos are filmed in public, which sometimes may not be desired by the person filming themselves. This can lead to dangerous situations where someone doesn’t want to be filmed, and many U.S. states generally consider the exception to privacy in public.

Can’t Post It is an app designed to give people a non-physical way to stop people being filmed and to stop them from publicly sharing videos they don’t want to appear. It works by triggering the flash of the smartphone camera to produce a strobe light. Effects designed to visually interrupt the shot. Then, on the audio side, play a licensed music track that may be copyrighted if the video is posted online.

“I like the idea of ​​protecting people’s privacy,” Sammy Shayne, CEO of streaming talent agency Couch Fame, told Lifewire in an email, “especially since several of our talented streamers already own their content and Move it elsewhere. In recent months.”

possible solutions

However, there are some potential issues with apps like Can’t Post It. Experts believe that while the app is a good idea on paper, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to get around the hurdles it creates. For example, the strobe effect of the camera affects the brightness of the video, but it is more effective in low light. Video shot during the day may not be affected much, unless the close-up light shines directly into the lens.

Seismic sound waves

Baron/Getty Images

The app’s licensed music track, called “Death of a Post,” may not be as straightforward as a camera flash (where appropriate), but it’s a bit harsh in its approach.

“What sets our songs apart from others is that when major publishers register their songs in the ContentID system, most opt ​​for the profit sharing option,” said founder of Samson Technologies LLC and creator of Can’t Post It Dylan Sterman said. , in an email interview with Lifewire. †[That] This means that even a video containing part of a copyrighted song will contain an ad, and the proceeds from that ad will go to the owner, but the video will still exist. On the other hand, “Death of Posts” has a blanket ban, so if a video has the fingerprints of our exclusive songs, it can’t keep up. ”

Since internet videos often have to deal with copyright claims, it makes sense to use licensed audio tracks in this way. However, as Shayne says, “Videos can easily be muted to avoid copyright claims.”

Eric Florence, a cybersecurity analyst at digital security site SecurityTech, agreed, telling Lifewire “It’s a good idea not to publish on paper, but it’s possible to edit the audio to remove it. It’s the only way to protect your privacy by living in a less populated area. area.”

So while licensed audio might make the person recording it a little suspicious, if they don’t care about the audio, they can delete it and post the video.

unwanted side effects

According to experts, Can’t Post It also has the potential for abuse, and anyone with the app can activate it in an attempt to screw up someone else’s video or even use it to sabotage media coverage. †

A couple enjoying a conversation while their friends take pictures of them on a bus trip

Alexander Georgiev/Getty Images

“This app is going to be used by people to interrupt and annoy other people who are trying to get something done,” Shayne said. “It won’t block unwanted public videos except to interrupt unsuspecting strangers.”

“Unfortunately, since the app doesn’t block videographers,” Florence added, “I’ve seen it being abused to annoy people working on video projects in public spaces.”

They are hypothetical cases (nor ideal), but not impossible. If someone is using “unable to post” to try to suppress important or personal videos that they themselves may not even make, please stop?

When asked about this potential abuse, Sterman told Lifewire, “We have no control over which videos are blocked, and as a company we don’t care because being neutral is part of our core mission. How our users use Can ‘It’s 100% their personal responsibility to release an app after purchase.”

Content

Video Privacy App ‘Can’t Post It’ Means Well, but Could Be Misused

Some videos are posted no matter what

Utilizing the camera flash to ruin visuals and licensed music to disrupt audio (and discourage posting online) make sense.
Though the strobe effect may not accomplish much in daylight, and sound can be removed.
There’s also the possibility of people misusing the app to purposely suppress videos of important events.
Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Internet videos have pretty much become ubiquitous over the past several years—especially now that so many people are always carrying around pocket-sized HD cameras. Naturally, many of those videos are filmed in public, and sometimes the people being filmed may not want to be. This can lead to some dicey situations where someone doesn’t want to be filmed, while many US states often see being in public as an exception to privacy.

Can’t Post It is an app designed to give people a non-physical way to discourage being filmed—and to discourage the public sharing of the video they never wanted to be in. It works by activating a smartphone’s camera flash to create a strobe effect intended to disrupt filming on the visual end. Then, for the audio side of things, it plays a licensed music track that will probably get flagged for copyright if the video is posted online.

“I love the idea of protecting people’s privacy,” Sammy Shayne, Chief Executive Officer for streamer talent agency Couch Fame, told Lifewire in an email, “especially since several of our talented streamers have had their content stolen and uploaded elsewhere in recent months.”

Possible Workarounds

There are some potential problems with an app like Can’t Post It, however. Experts believe that while the app is a good idea on paper, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge to work around the obstacles it creates. For example, the strobing camera flash effect would affect video clarity, but it would be most effective in low-light conditions. Videos being shot during the day may not be impacted much unless the light is being shined directly at the lens at close range.

barisonal / Getty Images

The app’s licensed music track, called “Death of a Post,” may not be as direct as a camera flash (under the right conditions), but it’s a bit more heavy-handed in its approach.

“The difference between our song and others is that when the big publishers register their songs in the ContentID system, most select the profit sharing option,” explained Dylan Sterman, founder of Samson Technologies LLC and creator of Can’t Post It, in an email interview with Lifewire. “[That] means a video that features even a portion of a copyrighted song will feature an ad, and the revenue from that ad will go to the owner, but the video will stay up. ‘Death of a Post,’ on the other hand, has a blanket ban on its use, so any video will not be able to stay posted if it has the digital fingerprint of our exclusive song.”

With internet videos often having to deal with copyright claims, using a licensed audio track in such a manner does make sense. However, as Shayne pointed out, “The video could easily be muted to avoid any copyright claims.”

Eric Florence, cybersecurity analyst for digital security website SecurityTech, agreed, telling Lifewire that, “Can’t Post It is a good idea on paper, but the audio can be stripped out with editing. The only way to maintain your privacy in this way is by living in a less populated area.”

So, while the licensed audio may give the person doing the recording a moment’s hesitation, if they didn’t care about audio, they could remove it and post the video anyway.

Unintended Side Effects

Potential for misusing Can’t Post It also exists, according to experts. Anyone with the app could turn it on in an attempt to ruin someone else’s video for a prank, or even use it to get in the way of media coverage.

AleksandarGeorgiev / Getty Images

“This app is going to be used by people to disrupt and annoy others who are trying to accomplish something,” Shayne said. “It won’t deter unwanted public video, except in the case of disrupting unsuspecting strangers.”

“Unfortunately, since this app is not going to deter videographers,” Florence added, “I see it being misused to annoy people working on video projects in public places.”

They’re hypothetical situations (also not ideal) but not impossible. If someone were to use Can’t Post It to try to suppress important or personal videos they may not even appear in themselves, could they be stopped?

When asked about this possible misuse, Sterman told Lifewire, “We have no control over what videos get blocked, and it does not concern us as a company because part of our core mission is to be neutral. What our users do with the Can’t Post It app after purchase is 100% their own personal responsibility.”

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