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Viral FaceApp Raises Privacy Concerns

Is a glimpse into the future worthy of your current privacy? This issue has been brought to the fore this week with the revival of a smartphone app using artificial intelligence to convert your present face into your younger and older self.


People raised concerns on social media sites that all your pictures could be viewed and uploaded by FaceApp, including screenshots with delicate economic or health information or pictures of children with their school names in the background.

That’s not true, but the scuttle is a reminder to think twice before you download new apps.

Even big mainstream applications obtain user data on a routine basis. But many trendy-at-the-moment applications are primarily responsible for mining user data. Some Facebook personality quizzes and comparable services collect customer data as a company, opening individuals to infringements like the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer wrote that he was worried that FaceApp might pose “domestic safety and privacy hazards to millions of U.S. people.” The New York Democrat is requesting the two organizations to evaluate the scenario.

As far as FaceApp is concerned, the app only captures a picture if you select it specifically to see your face change, said safety investigator and Will Strafach. The confusion arises from an iPhone function that displays the app’s picture library. It’s an Apple feature that allows you to select a photo, but it doesn’t offer the library complete access to the app, even though it might seem like that. You have the option to grant access to your entire photo library, but even then there is no evidence that anything other than the selected photo is uploaded by the app.

There’s a version of FaceApp for Android, but those phones don’t tap photo libraries the same way.

The privacy policy of FaceApp also states that it uses app information to serve targeted advertisements and create new products and features. It says it doesn’t sell data to applications from third parties but lists many exceptions, including one that enables it to share data after removing user-identifying information.

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