Is FaceApp Safe To Use? Viral FaceApp Has Privacy Issues You Should Know

Previous 3-4 days have been crazy for people who like to be active on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter where there has been a full takeover of pictures from FaceApp that transforms your look or image to what you may possibly look like after 50 years (old-age filter), by the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Everyone's posting, and everyone's happy to share the look they will probably after 50 years down. The viral hashtag #AgeChallenge or #FaceApp has now has been trending on Twitter for at least 48 hours. In India, the FaceApp has created similar buzz as in other markets. 

Is FaceApp Safe To Use? Viral FaceApp Has Privacy Issues You Should Know

The FaceApp application is not a new app, After going viral in 2017, this app is again in the news and is trending globally thanks to the so-called FaceApp Challenge, in which celebs and everyone else have been adding years to their face with the app's old-age filter. The app uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create a rendering of what you might look in a few decades on your iPhones or Android device.

Now, What if I tell you that FaceApp now has access to your data - surprised? The company, however, has come with some clarifications but it doesn't change the 'Terms of use' of FaceApp. The app's Terms of Use clearly state something shocking and raise some serious privacy issues that should not be ignored.

According to states, it has already crossed 100 million downloads on Google Play Store. And also, it has access to more than 150 million names and faces.

FaceApp Privacy Issues : Why it is a privacy disaster !!
There's no doubt that FaceApp is doing wonders when it comes to providing what people exactly want from it be it can image with looking older. However, the data collected by the app is the real concern here.

A careful look into Official FaceApp's Terms of Use:-
"You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative work from, distribute, publicly perform and display your Use 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."

Words like 'perpetual', 'irrevocable', 'royalty-free' and 'worldwide' mean that even if you use the app once to create an edited image, it could be used by the company for promotional purposes anywhere in the world. Worse, you might not even know about it.

When continuing to push further in Terms of Use of app, FaceApp adds, "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."

It means using the app also means that everything shared on it is public.

"By using the Services, you agree that the User Content may be used for commercial purposes. You further acknowledge that FaceApp's use of the User Content for commercial purposes will not result in any injury to you or to any person you authorized to act on its behalf," it adds. It is possible that your data may be safely secured at a server somewhere on Earth, but the problem here will be FaceApp will still have the license to use it anywhere and everywhere without your permission.

In simple terms, FaceApp could use this content, which includes all the pictures that people have been creating via the app's filter for "commercial purposes."

Nowadays, Data is precious like gold and the users will also have to take responsibility for the information they share on any app on their smartphones. App creators, on the other hand, have to make sure that they don't sell the data collected to anyone. But the last few big data breaches suggest that every time the user's data is leaked. So, that's why the user's data is not safe. FaceApp continues to be available for users as a free download, and we leave the decision to you whether you have to use it or not.

Is FaceApp Safe To Use? Viral FaceApp Has Privacy Issues You Should Know
FaceApp Acknowledges Privacy  Concern :-
FaceApp claimed that it performs most of the photo procession in the cloud. " We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the photo to the cloud."

On storage of photos, FaceApp commented, "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."

But the Official FaceApp's Privacy & Policy Page does not mention anything about deleting photos from the cloud server in 48 hours.

And FaceApp also claims that "it doesn't sell or share any user data with any third parties. Even though the core research & the development team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia" it adds.

However, FaceApp's privacy policy mentions that the company may share data with some parties and information collected through the services may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which FaceApp, its affiliates or services providers maintain facilities.

FaceApp also relies on Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning's neural networks to create these filter effects, which can result in a user looking older or younger. It requires a lot of data in order to improve, and with the app going viral, all of these images shared by users will likely help improve and train newer models for the app. So, according to this, it is clear that user's privacy is at risk.

The facial recognition is troubling and that Artificial Intelligence technology can be used to create stunningly realistic videos of a person using nothing more than a single image of their face. So, in the future, it may be harmful to you.

Most people click accept button of Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions Pages without reading. And after that, if any issues happened at that time, the company can say, "it's not our fault, you were warned."

For now, it doesn't seem like anything particularly untoward is going on, but it's still worth investigating if you want to be in control of your privacy on the internet. This means checking out the privacy & policy of application for yourself before uploading your face to an app, even if the filters are pretty cool.

If you are a privacy conscious person then my advice is that first of al read the privacy policy and terms & conditions pages of that application and if you feel that it is safe and doesn't use your sensitive and personal information then only download and use that application because your data is very important than these types of cool filters.

I hope you find useful information in this article. If you have any questions or if you have any thoughts about FaceApp's Privacy issues then please mention in the comments section and I will get back to you and stay tuned with my blog to learn interesting things related to cybersecurity and hacking. 

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