FaceApp is currently the #1 app on the App Store’s "Photo & Video” category, even ranking above apps like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

Jared Alex Tan  |  Singapore
Published 2019-07-18 12:17:21

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, chances are you’ve heard of FaceApp, the photo editing app that — among other things — uses AI to predict how you’d look at 70.

And as if our Facebook feeds weren’t enough of an indicator, FaceApp has the numbers to back up its  popularity — at the time of writing, it’s currently the #1 app on the App Store’s “Photo & Video” category, even ranking above apps like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

Now, getting a glimpse into the future might seem like harmless fun and games, but some people have expressed concern with one particular clause in the app’s terms of service:

“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. 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.”

This basically means that FaceApp and its Russian parent company Wireless Labs can do pretty much whatever what they want with your photos, from putting it on a billboard to using your face to train facial recognition programs.

And according to former RackSpace manager Rob La Geese, they don’t just have access to the photos you’ve uploaded to the app, but all the photos in your phone’s gallery.

“To make FaceApp actually work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos – ALL of them. But it also gains access to Siri and Searches… Oh, and it has access to refreshing in the background – so even when you are not using it, it is using you.”

Considering how privacy has become such a hot-button topic in recent years (hello, Cambridge Analytica), this could be worrying depending on how much you value your personal information.

As far as we know the folks at FaceApp haven’t done anything malicious, but considering that they easily could, you might want to think twice before using the app for a few likes on Facebook.

Header Image Credit: Vulcan Post

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