Be Careful With The New “Face App”

By Richie on July 18, 2019
This illustration picture shows FaceApp application displayed on the screen of a smartphone. – The chart-topping Russian-made application FaceApp, which allows millions of users to see how they will look as they age, finds itself in the eye of a political storm in the United States, with one senator urging an FBI investigation into its “national security and privacy risks”. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve looked at any social media site in the past few days, you’ve seen someone using the Face App.  It’s the app that uses AI to alter your photos, and the most popular way to use it has been the filter that makes you look OLD.

And now that’s it’s been trending for a few days, time to dump a bucket of cold water on it:  Yup, it’s a privacy nightmare.

Turns out Face App is made by a company in Russia.  You’re giving it access to all of your photos.  And in their privacy policy, by using the app, you grant them permission to use your altered AND non-altered photos however they want for eternity.

It also immediately uploads your photos to a server rather than just processing them on your phone.  The company says they’re using a data center in the U.S., but there’s nothing stopping them from moving those photos elsewhere.

So is this a Russian project to build a facial recognition database on all of us?  It doesn’t seem that way.  Could it turn into that if they wanted it to?  Yep.  And there’s nothing you can do about it now if you’ve used the app.

Oh, and you’ve also given the app access to your photos, just another reason why it’s impossible to have fun in the digital age.