In the past weeks, all over social media, you can see the old versions of your friends and famous people created with FaceApp. As the app becomes more and more popular because many would like to know how they would look like when they will be old, some dared to read the app’s terms and conditions to see what they really sing up for.

Unfortunately, they weren’t pleased with what they discovered and started to raise serious concerns about their data privacy. In other words, FaceApp is the perfect example and reason why you should always read the terms and conditions because some companies will leverage the fact that most people don’t read them and violate peoples’ privacy.

With no further ado, in today’s post, we’re presenting everything you need to know about the FaceApp controversy.

What is FaceApp?

While FaceApp may be new to many users, it is, in fact, a rather old app as it has been publicly available for two years now. Initially, they weren’t famous for their age filters – they had ethnicity filters, but, according to an expert, their fame didn’t last for too long.

Now, FaceApp can help you see how would you look younger/older, with different hair color, and it can put a smile and make-up on your face. The technology behind is nothing else but artificial intelligence that is supposed to adjust the picture of yourself based on specific imagery, which makes it possible to make all those changes to your face.

What is the problem?

While the app seems to have a pretty cool concept, their using of users’ data isn’t so cool. Their terms and conditions stated very clear that your data can be used in any way they want to once you give your approval.

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From this problem, some started questioning if FaceApp is accessing and uploading photos from their users’ phones, claim which was found to be false and that FaceApp is only using the photos that users submit.

Facial recognition algorithms

Another problem is regarding their facial recognition, more exactly, the fact that they might use all the collected data to train and perfection facial recognition algorithms, which, to be honest, is very much likely.

They claim that the data they collect is deleted after 48 hours, but this is a matter of trust because no one verified if they’re truly doing it, said the sources from uk-dissertation.com. As well, even if they do delete the photos, they can still do the training with the data they extracted from the photos, such as facial measurements. Anyway, they claim that they don’t do such a thing and that the app’s only purpose is editing people’s faces.

Their explanations

First of all, FaceApp is a Russian company that stores its data in the US. Researchers stated that because they collect the data – the pictures – from their users, is giving them a competitive advantage.


How that is so is explained by Steven Murdoch for Boom Essay review. He said that is the editing process would have been done on the user’s phone, not only that the process would have been slower and consume more phone battery, but the technology behind could be easily stolen by professionals.

But this explanation doesn’t cover all the concerns, because they suggested that they can use the photos for their own use, such as commercials, and their contra argument was that Twitter uses similar clauses.

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User awareness

We all know that anyone who wants to see how he/she looks older won’t take 10 minutes to read the terms and conditions, especially because no one thinks that something bad can happen out of it. As well, if one would read the terms and conditions from every website/ap he accesses in one day that person would probably end up wasting hours.

Moreover, is not like you can not accept the terms and conditions and still use their services, so they basically leave you with no choice.

What does the company have to say?

As the controversy regarding their app is so popular, they stated that every user has the right to request for their data to be deleted which led to overwhelming the company’s support team.

Conclusion

The truth is that we will never know for sure how is FaceApp using their users’ data and if they have other purposes behind, but one thing is for sure – they don’t care about people’s privacy. The sad part is that FaceApp isn’t the only company that counts on the fact that people don’t read the terms and conditions and you will be surprised to see that many famous companies are doing the exact same thing.

What’s even worse, is that today you can’t do anything on the internet without accepting terms and conditions and if you don’t accept them you can’t do anything, so they literally leave you no solution but give your data for free. And this is the biggest problem, and yet is a problem that too little people talk about.

There are, however, other developers who are releasing similar apps that are much more privacy friendly. For example, Lisha Li has released an app called Rosebud which is very similar to FaceApp from a feature perspective but developed and maintained by an American.

https://twitter.com/lishali88/status/1155897002544156672

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