Everybody in the freaking world has been sending photos of themselves as olds via FaceApp in the last 24 hours. The app is addictive and amazing and everyone loves it.
But we can't just have nice things any more, can we?
Data privacy experts have highlighted that there are some privacy issues that everyone should be aware of when using FaceApp. Basically some users have had issues with the app accessing their photo library without giving consent.
Shouldn’t photo access need to be enabled for this to be possible ? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/wy45zKn63E
— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) July 16, 2019
#Warning: Every few years, the #FaceApp comes around.
It draws a lot of people in.
But, it also captures your face along with some of your private data.
It doesn't tell us what it does with that data.
— scott budman (@scottbudman) July 17, 2019
Now that said, FaceApp have clarified a lot of the concerns to TechCrunch this afternoon. Their full statement is below:
1. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.
2. We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.
3. We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority. For the fastest processing, we recommend sending the requests from the FaceApp mobile app using “Settings->Support->Report a bug” with the word “privacy” in the subject line. We are working on the better UI for that.
4. All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99% of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person.
5. We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.
6. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.
Additionally, we’d like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all pictures from the gallery are uploaded to our servers after a user grants access to the photos (for example, https://twitter.com/
joshuanozzi/status/ 1150961777548701696). We don’t do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet.
Bottom line - if you're nervous about the access that you're giving FaceApp, be sure to check the Ts and Cs/