Tag Archive Faceapp

ByJayanthi

Face app

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It seems the online world is embroiled in some sort of controversy or the other giving me plenty to write about!! 😉 Jokes aside – have you downloaded and used the currently viral ‘Face app’?   If you have or have not yet done so, read on…

What is ‘Face app’?

‘Face app’ – the AI , face editor is a freely downloadable app for both Android and iOS platforms and is owned by a Russian company Wireless Labs. It is available both on Google Play and Apple App store. I downloaded it and it was really fun to try the different looks(with a smile, without a smile, with makeup, without makeup) and the younger version and older version of oneself are phenomenal too…For a moment, I threw all my security caution to the wind and dissolved into it and enjoyed it!! 🙂 But, not for long… 

The ‘Face app’ asks for your permission to access the pictures from your ‘Gallery’ and no sooner, do you give it the permission – it takes your ‘face’ from a picture and performs a lot of magic to it. It definitely keeps you enthralled and even has options to use your pictures from social media platforms such as ‘Facebook’.

What is all the noise about ‘Face app’ now?

On the face of it, ‘Face app’ seems to be another app for everyone to have a bit of fun online, but there is more to what meets the eye. Your pictures are all uploaded to the cloud which itself is unnerving from a privacy standpoint. Along with this, there is another problem that has been reported widely which is in the ‘Terms and conditions’ of the viral app. The ‘Terms and conditions’ state this:

“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..”

While you own your “face” content, you are giving the app exclusive rights for your “face” content to be stored perpetually and be used for other derivative works and display it anywhere!! (yikes) I cannot imagine my face being stored on some strange servers in some part of the world and being used for strange purposes!! 

This is the part of the ‘Faceapp’ that is deeply troubling for all users of the Internet community today.

What is being done then?

  1. US Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer has called on the FBI and Federal Trade Commission to look into the privacy issues with ‘Faceapp'(Source: economictimes.com)
  2. In the wake of privacy concerns, the CEO of Faceapp has stated that most of the pictures are deleted within 48 hours(Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/17/faceapp-responds-to-privacy-concerns/)
  3. User data is definitely not transferred to Russia
  4. Users can requests their data to be deleted
  5. Only the selected picture is uploaded and not all the pictures from the ‘Gallery’ are uploaded

The net result of heavy outburst on social media unfortunately or fortunately, the downloads for ‘Faceapp’ have supposedly increased by 500% in the last six days(Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2019/07/18/controversy-good-for-business-faceapp-downloads-jumped-561/#759ad9c3577c)

My take on the whole Faceapp drama:

While privacy issues constantly rake the online world, this is probably one of the few times that even non-serious security individuals have woken up to security and privacy thoughts. While our entire online data(conversations, payments, locations, group pictures, events, gatherings) is always moving silently behind the computer screen, a picture of a “face” moving around has really shaken everybody up( A picture is definitely worth a thousand words 🙂 !! ) More people are questioning the privacy behind the fun which is definitely a good thing.

We will see how the ‘Faceapp’ drama unfolds further but for now it is good to see ‘Faceapp’ has definitely woken up the sleeping privacy giant in all of us!!

Cheers!