Update 1: According to TechCrunch, FaceApp has finally responded to the privacy concerns related to the app and stated:
“We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.”
Update 2: According to CNN, the Democratic National Committee wants the FBI and the FTC to investigate the entire FaceApp issue. The app originates from Russia and so, the DNC has also warned the 2020 presidential election campaign not to use FaceApp due to security reasons.
Being able to see our future version is the most exciting thing happening to people these days. The Russian photo editing application, FaceApp is getting viral over the last few days. The application has some cool filters that make users’ images look older and younger than their actual age.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have already flooded with old-aged pictures of general users and celebrities. You might also be excited about trying this latest trend on the Internet. But before that, just have a look at some serious privacy concerns related to the app.
FaceApp is a two-years-old app
If you are unaware, FaceApp is not a new application. It was launched and went viral for the first time in 2017. FaceApp uses advanced Artificial intelligence algorithms to transform your selfies and other images and give them a different look.
However, this app was later opposed by many people due to its ability to change ethnicity. As a result, the developers had removed the controversial filter that changes the skin tone and facial features.
Coming back to the main story, FaceApp is no doubt fun to use, but it does have its share of privacy concerns. According to a recent report by TechCrunch, FaceApp is capturing the user’s face and private data.
The license terms of the app also state that the use of app’s old-age filter grants developers the right to use your selfies, name, a likeness for any purpose, voice, or persona for commercial purposes”, spotted by Twitter user Elizabeth Potts Weinstein.
If you use #FaceApp you are giving them a license to use your photos, your name, your username, and your likeness for any purpose including commercial purposes (like on a billboard or internet ad) — see their Terms: https://t.co/e0sTgzowoN pic.twitter.com/XzYxRdXZ9q
— Elizabeth Potts Weinstein (@ElizabethPW) July 17, 2019
FaceApp is free to share your data with others
According to the privacy page of the app, the company admits that “they may share User Content and your information with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that FaceApp is.”
The report also pointed about that the FaceApp was able to access the photo library on iOS devices even when the settings were set to ‘Never’. However, the app is able to access only one image and not the entire photo gallery due to the API restrictions.
Furthermore, the FaceApp neither notify the users when their photo has been uploaded to the cloud nor clearly explains whether the company stores the user’s original photo or exactly what the company is allowed to do with it.
The FaceApp extremely broad terms state,”You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform, and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.”