DOES FACEAPP PROVIDE THE SPECIAL SERVICES TO THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION BY COLLECTING SELFIES AND WHAT TO DO IF THE AGING APPLICATION IS ALREADY ON OUR PHONE ?
No, FaceApp isn’t taking photographs of our face and taking them back to Russian servers for some immoral project. At least that’s what current evidence suggests.
Even If you are more curious then you should know that users can request the removal of their data in FaceApp – it works so far.
Social networks are overwhelmed with photos in which our friends suddenly become 80 years old also stars, politicians, and characters of serials. Although FaceApp, appeared in 2017, but with the AI based algorithm it is now on an unprecedented wave of popularity.
It is a free application that will show you from an unexpected side. Every person is curious to try on different images. How will I look in old age? And if I change the skin color? Visual answers to all these questions can be obtained using the free utility FaceApp.
This App is a new utility for Android and iOS that performs interesting manipulations with portraits of people. With its help, you can easily turn a bore into a fun-loving boy, a young man into an old man, and a man into a woman. Or vice versa.
More recently, in the next update, the ability to create GIF images was added. These are small animations that you can then upload to social networks
Currently 1.9mil android users have downloaded it and because of FaceApp Challenge, in which celebs especially have been sharing images to their social media and showing their fans about their older looks in different poses.
Comprehensive and Permanent Rights to Use Your Selfies
The application works on the basis of neural networks and is developed by the Russian company Wireless Lab, which is headed by the Russian Yaroslav Goncharov – he previously worked at Yandex.
You provide FaceApp with continuous, irreversible, non-exclusive, free, comprehensive, fully rewarded rights, such that they are subject to transfer and transferred rights to use, reproduce, change, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative products, distribute, publicly execute and display your User Content and any user names, nicknames or similarities provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels that are now known or will be released later and without compensation to you. When you publish or otherwise distribute User Content through our services, you understand that your User Content and any information associated with it (for example, your username, location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.
Why so much noise on Faceapp using Cyber Security umbrella?
Since its launch in 2017, the app has downloaded 86 million users worldwide through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Over the last week, on July 20, more than 15.7 million new users appeared in FaceApp. The popularity of the application these days was higher than all the time from the beginning of the year together. It was the vitality of the program for “aging” that caused such close attention – and as it turned out, the program is not so simple.
It is not known for certain whether FaceApp downloads photos in the background. While no evidence of this has been found by security experts, the creators of the application also deny this. So much attention is riveted on this, because in the gallery there can be not only photos of morning coffee, but also screenshots of bank accounts and other documents.
In addition, the Russian startup FaceApp uploads photos of users to the cloud storage, without warning about it. That is, people generally do not understand that photo processing is not on the phone.
FaceApp also indicates that it can save photos to the store within 48 hours. It is argued that this is done for the application speed and traffic optimization: for example, to make sure that the user does not upload the same photo twice.
But only something is uploaded to the cloud storage — you lose control of it.
Why do you drain fast the battery of your smartphone ?
Another cause for concern: the application gets access to the photos, even if access to them is denied on the phone – this applies to iPhones. “This is not a conspiracy, but Apple could come up with a better way to describe the resolution,”
Most importantly: over the past few years, thanks to a variety of viral Facebook and scandal applications with Cambridge Analytica, it is well known that the data are not always used with the expected purpose and are not always stored properly, reliably, safely and privately.
The application is already on the phone: should we panic?
Panic is growing already. One example: the head of security of the National Committee of the Democratic Party of the United States urged presidential candidates not to install the application, and if they did, remove it. However, there is hardly any point in removing the application. In addition, the FBI has already called to check FaceApp .
“You may be on some billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face is most likely being used to work out some kind of artificial intelligence algorithm for recognizing faces,” said Peter Kastadinov from the Phone Arena publication.
“It is definitely strange that FaceApp saves your photos for possible” commercial use. “We assume that they can use them to teach AI new functions, but who knows: maybe you are already on a Russian photo stock!”, Writes Vox.
“However, for FaceApp, the main purpose of collecting your data is most likely advertising. There is no reason to think that the Russian authorities are doing something terrible with your photos,” adds Vox publication right away.
What is Faceapp Response on security concerns ?
The creators of FaceApp claim that they do not transfer data to third parties. According to them, all data is stored outside Russia. Also, FaceApp said that users can request the removal of their data, although there is no convenient way to do this yet. The request can be sent via the mobile application through the “settings”: there you should go to the “support”, report the error, indicating the “privacy” in the subject line.
Here’s FaceApp statement in full to privacy concerns
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.
It is important that all the fuss around FaceApp soon after a series of loud scandals in the field of security and technology suggests that users still do not understand that you need to think carefully before transferring your confidential data somewhere. In addition, it is not completely clear how companies collect information about people and what rights they have to it.
Therefore, one should not panic because of FaceApp alone, but it is equally necessary to treat all photo applications and programs that have access to our data with equal caution. Technology companies, of course, deserve a barrage of criticism because of their ambiguous conditions of use. Just as the users themselves for their frivolity.
- Amram is a technical analyst and partner at DFI Club Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm .He has over 10 years of technical and business experience with leading high-tech companies including Huawei,Nokia,Ericsson on ICT, Semiconductor, Microelectronics Systems and embedded systems.Amram focuses on the business critical points where new technologies drive innovations.