Social Networks Technology

Russian owned app which lets user turn themselves old creatures security buzz

An application named Faceapp has gone viral and chances are you have already come across the application without realising. If you recently came across a series of pictures in which the uploader appeared to be older than his present physical appearance then chances are that he used Faceapp to change his appearance. The application just takes one of your pictures and uses AI to convert it into sometime belonging to the future, the user appears older than the present. A number of celebrities have used the application and uploaded their funny looking pictures on the Instagram. This has given incentive to their followers to do the same.

However, in a recent update published by The Independent, the newspaper has pointed out at one flaw in the privacy policy of the Russian-based application. The application gives freedom to the users, either they can appear older than the present or can swap their genders.

The agreement before using the application has started to raise many eyebrows. When a user takes or selects a picture for its conversion into an older version of himself, the application uploads the picture to one of its servers. Little is know that if the picture remains uploaded at the server or if it gets deleted after the purpose has been served. According to The Independent the application is given permission by the user to use the picture anytime in any scenario, anywhere in the world. The Independent uploaded the agreement in a news update, which goes as follows, “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,” reads the terms of the application.

In common language, the terms appear to make clear that the app needs to collect and upload certain information from the picture to be able to convert it into something of the user liking – which is making his picture older in the case discussed. The pictures uploaded seem to be private; however, the terms of agreement make it clear that those pictures can be used in any way. Although, such a terms of usage are pretty common with apps like these, because regular users do it for fun purpose. One of the tweet went viral, stating that the app attempted to upload the entire picture library of his smartphone after he gave access to this pictures. Anyway, some experts are now trying to dig into the working of the application. Definitely, it’s too early to put allegations without any proof.

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