In The Press September 24, 2022

This Surveillance Artist Knows How You Got That Perfect Instagram Photo (The New York Times)

“The Follower" is a digital art project that showed just how much can be captured by webcams broadcasting from public spaces. The artist behind “The Follower,” Dries Depoorter, said his project demonstrates both the artifice of images on social media and the dangers of increasingly automated forms of surveillance. Mr. Depoorter is based in the European Union, which has robust privacy rules, called the General Data Protection Regulation, to protect citizens’ personal data, including their photos and biometric information. Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity partner Omer Tene and associate Gabe Maldoff said there are exemptions in the law for artistic expression, but that artists still need to be attentive to how the work will affect their subjects. “I don’t think ‘art’ gives you a free pass,” Mr. Maldoff said while speaking with The New York Times. Mr. Depoorter did not include the names or Instagram handles of the people he included in his project because, he said, he did not want them “to get a lot of messages.”