If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter these days, chances are that your social media feed is filled with people sharing photos of themselves looking much older than they are.
The Photo Editor App they’re using is FaceApp, a Russian-based service which has achieved immense popularity these days & it’s rising on the top of everyone’s mind. The tool uses Artificial Intelligence to morph selfies uploaded by its users to look older/younger.
Image Source: The Tab
So, the real question arises . . .
How FaceApp is using user’s data & What are the privacy concerns?
Like several other Android applications, FaceApp asks permission to access your photos, which are then sent through ‘a state-of-the-art photo-editor powered by Artificial Intelligence’ for morphing. According to the Photo editor app – FaceApp’s official website, the company currently has over 80 M active users. That means, people who have agreed to FaceApp’s Terms & Services, they have inadvertently given rights for their uploaded pictures for ‘commercial purposes.
The terms & services read, “You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sublicensable 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.”
Therefore, the company has the authority to use the uploaded content anywhere in the world & the chances are the person may not even know.
What is more worrying is that the company stores all the pictures on a cloud rather than locally, which according to them helps with the performance and traffic. While there is as yet no evidence to support these claims, people took to Twitter to voice privacy concerns.
If you use #FaceApp you are giving them a license to use your photos, your name, your username, and your likeness for any purpose including commercial purposes (like on a billboard or internet ad) — see their Terms: https://t.co/e0sTgzowoN pic.twitter.com/XzYxRdXZ9q
— Elizabeth Potts Weinstein (@ElizabethPW) 17 July 2019
Another concern that arises in the mind of people is that the photo editor app – FaceApp company is not GDPR compliant, which is again a matter to think about. GDPR safeguards EU citizens personal information. According to its rules, to use an app, an account must be made on the application. However, FaceApp doesn’t ask users to create an account to process their pictures.
According to several data experts’ predictions, “Based on the app’s Russian connection, this might come as no surprise if the company harvests and shares users’ data with Russian authorities for facial recognition state surveillance.” Remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal? Millions of Facebook users unwittingly participated in the ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ personality quiz, not realizing that they’re allowing several third parties to have access to data from them and their friends.
Also, You Can’t Sue FaceApp!
FaceApp’s Terms & Services says, individuals who have downloaded and used the application have automatically agreed to an arbitration clause, which means that users have waived their right to take any legal complaints to court.
The policy reads, “Except for small claims disputes in which you or FaceApp seek to bring an individual action in small claims court located in the county of your billing address or disputes in which you or FaceApp seeks injunctive or other equitable relief for the alleged unlawful use of intellectual property, you and FaceApp waive your rights to a jury trial and to have any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms or our Services resolved in court,”
Image Source: CBN.com
How FaceApp Responded To The Issue?
In a recent interview, FaceApp goes on to specify that, ‘It ‘might’ store users’ pictures, but it’s only for monitoring performance and traffic purposes. Most of the images are deleted from the servers within 48 hours of the upload time.’ The company also stated that ‘No data is transferred to Russia even after the R&D team is based there. Also, we do not share any personal information with third-parties.’
Yes, People Should Take Some Responsibility For Their Privacy!
Also take a moment to realize, when was the last time you spent a full day without touching your phone or checking social media. Have you become an individual who’ll get super-depressed if social media sites, Facebook or Instagram vanishes? We’re not telling you to stop using these sites or get rid of your smartphone but believe it, too much of a thing can absolutely be harmful.
Let’s Try Social Media Detox for Once!
Install Social Fever on your Android devices, an incredibly designed Android application to break your social media addiction. It works by getting you to set up your daily screen time and sending you timely alerts when you exceed them. The application keeps a track of the time you spent with & without your smartphone. It shows a detailed preview by listing time spent on individual apps. Users can also set interests to spend time on their favorite activities. The app also has a water reminder feature that gives timely alerts to users to consume enough water in a day. Compatible with the latest Android OS as well.
Time To Break Your Social Media Addiction!
Social Fever is your ultimate assistant to reduce virtual activities and devote more time to do something productive. Check out our guide on how to achieve social media detoxification via Social Fever Android app!
Get Over Social Media Addiction & Enjoy Life To The Fullest With Social Fever!
And for God’s sake, take a moment around #FaceAppChallenge as a reminder to moisturize & use sunscreen every day!
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