faceapp-privacy issues

Learn About your Privacy Now That You Downloaded the FaceApp.

It seems like good fun…..   age your face and show people, right?  But did you covertly have your privacy violated by maybe sending your face to the Russian government?

This is what everyone is talking about with regard to FaceApp, a program that takes photos of people and “ages” them using artificial intelligence. Soon after it shot to the top of the Apple and Google store charts last week, privacy advocates began waving warning flags about the Russian-made app’s vague legalese. Word spread quickly that the app might be a disinformation campaign, or secretly downloading your entire photo album.

The backlash against FaceApp, which uses artificial intelligence to apply a filter that ages users’ selfies by 50 years, has nearly kept apace with its viral popularity. Just as Drake, Steph Curry, and Cardi B were posting their own aged selfies, journalists and researchers were noting that Wireless Lab, FaceApp’s maker, is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia. As millions shared their photos to Facebook and Instagram, researchers continued to ring alarm bells about how the app’s privacy policy grants “perpetual” access to photos, including photo uploads of friends or family, regardless of whether these people agreed to the app’s terms of use. And by the time Wireless Lab CEO Yaroslav Goncharov defended the app in The Washington Post, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was calling for an FBI investigation into its data-usage policies.


A Washington Post reporter got some answers by running his own forensic analysis and talking to the CEO of the company that made the app. But the bigger lesson was how much appmakers and the stores run by Apple and Google leave all of us flying blind when it comes to privacy.

This reporter raised similar questions a few weeks ago, when he ran an experiment to find out what my iPhone did while he slept at night. he found apps sending his personal information to all sorts of tracking companies he’d never heard of.


faceapp-privacy issues

So what about FaceApp?


It was vetted by Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, which even labeled it an “Editors’ Choice.” They both link to its privacy policy — which they know nobody reads.

Looking under the hood of FaceApp with the tools from my iPhone test, he found it sharing information about his phone with Facebook and Google AdMob, which likely help it place ads and check the performance of its ads. The most unsettling part was how much data FaceApp was sending to its own servers, after which … who knows what happens. It’s not just your own face that FaceApp might gobble up — if you age a friend or family member, their face gets uploaded, too.

In an email exchange, FaceApp’s CEO Yaroslav Goncharov tried to clarify some of that with the reporter.

Here are five questions he posed that are basics we ought to know about any app or service that wants something as personal as our faces.




1. What data do they take?

2. How long do they hold on my data?

3) What are they doing with my data?

4. Who has access to my data?

5. How can I delete my data?

Here is what Congressman Chuck Schumer wrote on TWITTER




CNET: FaceApp was a test. We didn’t pass

The Atlantic:  FaceApp is everyone’s problem

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