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Monday, September 9, 2019

Russian FaceApp Owns 12 Million Faces Poses Privacy Risks, FBI Warns

A mobile application called FaceApp is now on trend in different social media sites where people are having fun of making themselves look older. This app has brought a lot of joy to everyone, however, using this might also expose a host to certain cyber threats.

This smartphone app allows users to apply filters on their selfies to look older which has grown popularity not only to teens but also beneath and beyond the edge, engaging with this kind of thing without knowing the risk.

According to FBI, they already raised several red flags against Faceapp. And by that they clarrified that based on the terms and conditions brought about by Wireless Lab, a small company in Russia, all uploaded photos could be used in unexpected ways withhout the company being held liable.

Robert Siciliano, security awareness expert at Safr.Me, said in an interview that consumers just think it’s fun and blindly share, get to laugh at their photos, however, such apps only wants to gather your data.

We should learn from what happened in Cambridge Analytica scandal where many Facebook users had been victimized by participating on a personality quiz not knowing that engaging on doing so will allow third parties to access their data, including location information, calls logs and text messages. Priorly, this quiz was meant to advertise for political parties during the presidential elections on 2016.


Going back to FaceApp, it is available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store. And, people around the world seem to be eager on uploading their “aged” photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Though achieved popularity the app also received a lot of critiscism by making people look like in another gender, lighten skin tone and ageing filter as the latest that had gone viral.

Led by famous celebrities like rapper Drake and The Jonnas Brothers band the popularity of FaceApp has risen when they posted their aged ophotos on social media.

FaceApp’s privacy policy already notes its affiliates and service providers before using the app that they “may transfer information that they collect about you, including personal information across borders and from your country or jurisdiction to other countries or jurisdictions around the world.”

The company’s privacy policy didn't explain how it will safeguard user content stored on its servers, however, the company claimed that any data collected is aggregated so that it cannot reasonably be used against someone or for something.

By any case and means, we can't deny the fact that users grant the company the license “to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display their content and any name, username or likeness provided in all media formats and channels now known or later developed.”


“Any app gathering data points that could lead to facial recognition should be of concern especially when it’s being used by government agencies, foreign companies or foreign intelligence,” Siciliano said.

Using the app means waiving the right to take legal complaints in court, that's why everyone should be wary on taking things for granted as this may result to exposure in harm and risk.

“Except for small claims disputes in which you or FaceApp seek to bring an individual action in small claims court located in the county of your billing address or disputes in which you or FaceApp seeks injunctive or other equitable relief for the alleged unlawful use of intellectual property, you and FaceApp waive your rights to a jury trial and to have any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms or our Services resolved in court,” the company’s terms read.

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