FaceApp: “You Just Handed Ownership of Your Face”

screenshot of FaceApp app from google play

You are probably wondering how come your Facebook friends, Instagram Following, and almost everyone else in the social media are posting photos of them in an old age at the moment, when in reality they aren’t even in their mid 40’s yet. Well, it’s all because of the trending app in Google Play called the FaceApp. 

FaceApp is free-to-download app and it has many features that will let you edit your photo from your hairstyle, smile, beard, and it will also let you apply filters, replace the background of your photo, and a lot more. With all those mentioned, this app just lately gained popularity with its feature that will let you swap gender and of course, change your age.

Is FaceApp Safe?

This app may seem to be your new favorite, but do know what it may cost you once you start using this app. Based from article Forbes has just posted this July 17, using this app would mean that you are grating FaceApp the capacity to use your photos and your names for any purpose they wish to you use it.

With that said, is FaceApp safe?

If you’re one of the over a million people who downloaded this app and you value your very own photo and your name, you better know what you’ve signed yourself into. And if you are still one of the clueless crowds who still wonder where your social media chums got their genderbent or old-aged photos of themselves, then it’s still not too late for you to consider the danger that this app and other similar apps could lead you to.

The consequences of not paying attention to any app’s Terms and Conditions also plays a part for this app to be able to get over a hundred millions of download, even with the fact that there could be a risk upon using it. In the FaceApp’s Terms of Use, the following has been mentioned:

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. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

Just after the privacy issue went viral, a lot of people started to talk about it the social media, especially on Twitter and the #FaceApp is already one of the trends.

And based from Forbes’ article, former Rackspace manager, Rob La Gesse mentioned that:

To make FaceApp actually work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos – ALL of them. But it also gains access to Siri and Search …. Oh, and it has access to refreshing in the background – so even when you are not using it, it is using you.

If that statement still won’t make you wary, then what will? Don’t wait until you see your photos get the attention you don’t ever want to get. Don’t wait until your name has already been marked into something you are so clueless of. 

FaceApp’s response to Privacy Concerns

Because of the privacy concerns regarding FaceApp going viral, the FaceApp Team has already given their response about the growing issue. FaceApps’s full statement has been posted by TechCrunch.

We are receiving a lot of inquiries regarding our privacy policy and therefore, would like to provide a few points that explain the basics:

1. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.

2. 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.

3. We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority. For the fastest processing, we recommend sending the requests from the FaceApp mobile app using “Settings->Support->Report a bug” with the word “privacy” in the subject line. We are working on the better UI for that.

4. All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99% of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person.

5. We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.

6. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.

Additionally, we’d like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all pictures from the gallery are uploaded to our servers after a user grants access to the photos (for example, https://twitter.com/joshuanozzi/status/1150961777548701696).  We don’t do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet.

Be Mindful

In downloading such app, you might not see a direct effect to you of at this point in time, but time might come that you’ll regret getting into such. In FaceApp’s case, since you are giving them the license to freely do whatever they desire to you photos and your name, you shouldn’t get surprised anymore if your face would one day end up popping out of something you have no idea about. That is just a sample scenario, and it might not be the case your face will end up into, but it is still essential to be cautious when planning to ride a trend and downloading apps whether or not it’s akin to the app FaceApp.

The Choice is Still In your Hands

What do you think about it? Still planning do get FaceApp and other apps alike? It’s still up to you, but it’s still best that you know what might become the outcome of your actions. Think before you click.

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rhoveatech

I play various of mobile games, but my heart belongs to MMORPG. To be honest, I’m not a pro; I just enjoy what I do.

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