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FaceApp Old-Age Filter App Goes Viral but You Might Want to Read Its Legal Terms Before Using

Mudassar Hassan




A two-year-old FaceApp is currently seeing a revival in popularity. The app uses a software algorithm that simply alters the appearance of a person’s face to what he/she might look like 40 years later by adding wrinkles, sun damage, and grey hair- has taken a viral trend in social media including celebrities. But things are growing tricky since last weekend about the app’s terms of service which raises security concerns about what data the app collects, who owns it and how the photos are processed.

As spotted by a twitter user Elizabeth Potts Weinstein, FaceApp’s terms of use mention that “if you use the app, you are granting its developers right to use your content, including your selfies, name, voice, and persona for commercial purposes”. One of the privacy policies of FaceApp reads that “if you are located in the European Union or other regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from US law, please note that we may transfer information including personal information, to a country that does not have the same data protection laws as your jurisdiction”.

This is the first time that this AI (Artificial Intelligence) based app fronted by a Russian company is facing severe controversies worldwide. FaceApp is not facing controversies for the first time, earlier it went viral with its gender-bending filter and it left more questions than answers for the users. Some questions like where this app is storing data which are being processed and for how long the company holds onto users’ gallery.  So unless a user is comfortable with the app’s policies, one should be cautious about allowing the app getting access to your privacy because once something is uploaded to the cloud, you do not hold any control even if you haven’t given any license to your content and in this case your face may end up training some AI facial recognition algorithm.

Mudassar Hassan brings 6 years of experience in helping grass roots, mid-sized organizations and large institutions strengthen their management and resource generating capacities and effectively plan for the future. He is also a mentor and professional advisor to artists working in all disciplines. He is also the gold medalist from Abbottabad University of Science and Technology in the Bachelors of Sciences of Computer Science

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