Home Technology FaceApp craze causes a scare over data privacy

FaceApp craze causes a scare over data privacy

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If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen a lot of people posting pictures of what they would like in 30 years’ time; all grey and wrinkly. While some of us just need to look in a mirror to get that info, it as been a lot of fun for many to see their older selves and getting another a nasty shock or nice chuckle in. The whole craze has ultimately been spawned by FaceApp, which first went viral back on 2017, but is seen a revival of fortune again after it unveiled the new filter.

This time though, given the high scrutiny people are having around social media privacy and data, combined with the fact that the app is actually Russian, some people and politicians went into an unnecessary panic around the usage of it all. The concern comes from the fact that the company stores the image of its users on its servers to apply the necessary filtering before returning it to the user. This makes sense from a scaling perspective as its easier for their software using the cloud to get the processing it needs to do the change quickly rather than rely on the phone itself to provide this resource.  

It’s a concern that is probably unfounded give the fact that pretty much every other social media app like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn etc are all storing photos of people’s faces on their servers and there is no evidence to suggest that FaceApp is doing anything malicious with these photos either. This whole affair does show us though how people are quickly willing to join a trend that they will easily forego thinking about security, privacy and what actually happens with their data.

The company has come out and spoken to The Verge, indicating that they do go and delete the images they have of people if this is requested. They are currently overloaded as a result of the panic, but apparently, all you have to do is request a deletion through Setting>Support>Report a bug with the word “privacy” in the subject line. A feature to allow users to delete the photo themselves would make more sense, but will probably come in a later version of the app. Still, much like other apps of its ilk, just because they say it is deleted, doesn’t always mean we can know for sure.

So, what am I trying to say through this all? Well, you’re probably safe to keep having fun with FaceApp, but in future, read an apps’ data privacy policies so that you can avoid any future freak-out about what type of data they store.

Last Updated: July 18, 2019

22 Comments

  1. Yahtzee

    July 18, 2019 at 14:32

    Haha.

    Remember folks. If it’s “FREE”, you are the product.

    Reply

    • HvR

      July 18, 2019 at 14:41

      Until they see Kasie’s old ass pic; then they will wish they put it behind a paywall

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Umbra

        July 18, 2019 at 15:12

        Where is the ol’ bugger today?

        Reply

        • HvR

          July 18, 2019 at 15:12

          Very busy taking FaceApp photos and sending it via whatsapp

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Umbra

            July 19, 2019 at 08:52

            Sending info to da russkis

          • HvR

            July 19, 2019 at 08:52

            Why do you think they are in peace talks with the Ukraine, after the Kasie pics the Russian Federation army is demoralised and Moscow ran out of eye bleach so need new supplies from the Ukraine

        • Guz

          July 18, 2019 at 15:22

          …Working? xD

          Reply

    • Raptor Rants

      July 18, 2019 at 15:12

      No u!

      Reply

    • Magoo

      July 18, 2019 at 14:32

      Are you saying that we are all just a product of Darryn’s imagination?

      Reply

      • Llama In The Rift

        July 18, 2019 at 14:41

        Don’t know about you but i’m in The D squad and my life’s goal is to hit a target.

        Reply

    • Dr Webster Flexington

      July 23, 2019 at 17:32

      lol 150% 😀

      Reply

  2. Raptor Rants

    July 18, 2019 at 14:50

    I think people were worried about the wording which went something along the lines of they own the image in all its forms and may use it in any form, including monetisation of said image without express permission from the uploader?

    Reply

    • HvR

      July 18, 2019 at 15:22

      That is pretty much the T&C in any app

      Reply

      • Raptor Rants

        July 18, 2019 at 15:22

        I don’t think other apps say it quite so straight out

        Reply

        • HvR

          July 19, 2019 at 10:23

          So people are upset that they are honest?

          okay without sarcasm.

          Variants of the license that grants use the user content royalty free use is found in every service that display your images on platforms that generate revenue and use the images to improve their image processing algorithms otherwise they will be infringing on your copyright and you will be able to claim part ownership or compensation of the algorithms.

          Reply

          • Raptor Rants

            July 23, 2019 at 11:48

            No, I mean I don’t think people ever clicked. Hence the outrage. People are so used to legal mumbo jumbo that they don’t understand what it means.

            That being said… I’d still love to know who actually took the time to read the T&Cs lol. Bored much?

      • Caveshen Rajman

        July 19, 2019 at 09:45

        Can you give an example of another popular app that has that wording, please?

        Reply

        • HvR

          July 19, 2019 at 10:16

          Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat

          Reply

  3. Admiral Chief Umbra

    July 18, 2019 at 15:12

  4. Guz

    July 18, 2019 at 15:31

    People who use FB , Insta, Twitter are woried about privacy?! If you really concerned , don’t post your personal shit online, how’s about that!

    Reply

  5. Llama In The Rift

    July 18, 2019 at 14:41

    Russia: Give us all your personal data and photos..
    Everyone: NO WTF!!!!…PISS OFF!
    Russia: Oh forgot..here’s FaceApp.
    Everyone: OMG Thanks so much..ya’ll great!!

    Reply

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