Security and privacy concerns raised as FaceApp popularity explodes

Everybody is posting ‘old person’ selfies as filter app FaceApp enjoys a resurgence

A Big Warning to FaceApp Users Enjoying the Old Age Filter

FaceApp has gone viral again and you can understand why.

But with that widespread use has also come a growing concern about the app's privacy, as many users noticed that FaceApp was able to access their photo libraries without them ever having given permission or enabled access - as we're used to having to do with apps.

If you've been scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook this week, chances are you have seen photographs of your friends looking older, younger, or even changing in gender overnight. There is an app that does that and it's called FaceApp and it combines the words "Face" (like your own face) and "App" (as in application). The app was originally created in St. Petersberg and after some research, it was deemed that by uploading photos to FaceApp, Russia may be getting access to your identity and personal information.

Privacy researchers digging into the hidden parts of the app have claimed there is nothing to indicate that FaceApp is taking all of an iOS user's photos.

There is more stipulations from the document.

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After going viral when it was initially launched in 2017, the app faced issues when it started enabling what amounted to digital blackface by changing a person from one ethnicity to another.

What does FaceApp's Terms of Service state?

It is suggested that when a user selects any picture to edit and switches on the Airplane mode, the image will appear blurred with a pop-up that the image can't be uploaded due to the lost internet connection.

Upload your desired photo, apply the filter, and witness the transformation.

These concerns have been heightened by growing awareness of online privacy issues in recent years and the fact that the developer is based in Russian Federation, where many high-profile online misinformation campaigns have been based, in addition to a loosely-phrased privacy policy.

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"We also may share your information as well as information from tools like cookies, log files, and device identifiers and location data, with third-party organizations that help us provide the Service to you", the privacy policy continues.

Mr Goncharov shared a company statement that said FaceApp only uploads photos selected by users for editing.

"2. We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud".

"We will not rent or sell your information to third parties outside FaceApp", the policy also says. And past year, PopSugar's viral "twinning" app inadvertently leaked data. "We never transfer any other images", the statement added.

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