Mon. Aug 19th, 2019

FaceApp Now Holds 150 Million User’s Personal Information

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For all those who haven’t turned themselves into an old version yet and published it on Facebook, you are the few who still haven’t handed over your personal information to a company called the FaceApp. 

Yes, FaceApp holds personal information on more than 150 million individuals from around the world. 

What is FaceApp?

FaceApp is a smartphone app which allows individuals to apply different filters on their own pictures and friends. The app has gained significant popularity over the course of time because of one of the filters. This filter allows users to transform their youthful images into an older version of themselves.

It is a fun app that offers a few laughs to everybody but recently, cybersecurity experts have shown significant concern. They did a bit of research and found that the app is constructed by a company called Wireless Lab located in Russia, and according to its terms and conditions, the company holds complete authority to use your information in any possible way they think they would want to use it. 

Why is FaceApp a Greater Risk for the Audience? 

Here’s a snippet from their terms and conditions policy. 

Do you remember how the Cambridge Analytica scandal stirred up? Many Facebook users unknowingly participated in the “This Is Your Digital Life” personality quiz later to find out that by using this app, they can allow third-parties to gain access to data from them and their friends. 

This is what led to the great debacle of Facebook and hence, Facebook was called upon by the govt. 

Robert Siciliano, a security awareness expert t Safr.Me. says, 

“Consumers just think it’s fun and blindly share. Any app gathering data points that could lead to facial recognition should be a concern especially when it’s being by government agencies”

Siciliano further added, 

“There has been a lot of worry regarding Russian-based companies whose hands are being forced by the Russian government [when] they require backdoor access to the companies’ data and servers,”

FaceApp has earned its popularity previously from different other filters that it has to offer. For instance, the app is pretty accurately known for gender change or skin lightening effects. 

But, the aging filter has hands down swept a massive chunk of appreciation from the fan club. 

It has gone pretty viral and attracted the attention of over a million users. 

Even celebrities such as Jonas Brothers and rappers like Drake have posted their old selfies. 

What these celebrities and individuals fail to understand or realize is that once these pictures are uploaded to the cloud, the user has lost his/her control over the image. And that is the greatest risk of using this app.

Why You Should Be Extra Careful When Using the FaceApp?

FaceApp’s privacy policy states that,

“may transfer information that we collect about you, including personal information across borders and from your country or jurisdiction to other countries or jurisdictions around the world.”

Personal information falling into the wrong hands can have some real detrimental effect to your well-being. Imagine your images are circulating around weird websites in the state of Russia? 

Let’s not forget that it is the same government which was accused to interfere in 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Anywhere in the app’s privacy policy, the organization hasn’t mentioned even a single clause that states what measures are they taking to safeguard user content stored on servers. 

Instead, they casually claim that the information can be transacted and used cross borders. 

What if Your Images Are Used for Facial Recognition? 

FaceApp states that it can use any image, in any way they want. It means that your images can be used to market different products in advertisements, they can be included as free stock photos on different websites, in fact, it can be used for facial recognition which may end you up in losing data. 

As the app states, 

“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”

Do You Have Any Questions? 

I hope this article was an informative read. Do you have any questions? Well, what are you waiting for! Go ahead and ask, we are more than willing to interact with you. 

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