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“Russians now own all your old photos.” IS that True ? Does FaceApp sell your personal data !?

Does FaceApp collect data your data and sell it to Russian government?
Does FaceApp collect & Sell your data to Russian government?
Does they have access in your entire directory in your phone?
Tech companies certainly deserve criticism for their data privacy practices, but so do we.

In early 2017, a service called Face App received a wave of press for using artificial intelligence to transform pictures of faces, making them look older or younger, male or female, or adding a smile to appear happier.

This week, Face App once again made headlines as celebrities, including the Jonas Brothers, Drake and Dwayne Wade, appeared to use the app to show what they might look like when they get much older.

Enough people rushed to download the app and see their own selfies turn gray that Face App is currently the top free app in Apple’s App Store.

By Wednesday morning, however, there were growing privacy concerns about the app. As one breathless headline in a New York tabloid put it:

“Russians now own all your old photos.”

The fears came from stitching together scary sounding but unfortunately not uncommon wording in the app’s terms of service with an unverified — and now deleted — claim from a developer on Twitter about the app “uploading all your photos” and the simple fact that the company is based in St. Petersburg, Russia.

When you download the program, it asks for permission to access your photos, send you notifications, and activate your camera. We’re so used to this process of clicking through permission roadblocks that it’s easy to become numb to it. Granting access to our photo library is, in some ways, the new clicking blindly to agree that we’ve ready the iTunes terms of service agreement. We’re not entirely sure what we’re getting into, but there’s fun on the other side of that dialog box and we want to hurry up and get to it.

when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content.”

“If you share a photo on Facebook, you give us permission to store, copy, and share it with others,” Facebook says in its own terms of service.

Again, Facebook leaves out the “commercial” aspect of it, which is an upgrade from FaceApp’s agreement, but you’re still giving the company a generous license.

So What About Now,

Do i have to use FaceeApp ?

Please Read this Privacy Policy First and make your decision to use Face App or not .

FaceApp, a Russia-based app that applies filters to photos, is having another moment in the spotlight this week. The app first went viral in 2017, but this time it’s catching on because of a filter that makes users look older or younger. As with the last viral moment, however, users have been surprised to learn that the app’s creators are harvesting metadata from their photos.

Close research suggests FaceApp isn’t doing anything particularly unusual in either its code or its network traffic, so if you’re worried about FaceApp, there are probably a bunch of other apps on your phone doing the same thing. Still, the conversation does bring attention to standard tech practices that might be more invasive than users realize.

To use the app, iOS users select specific photos they want to put filters on, and there’s no evidence of the app downloading a user’s entire photo roll. The company then uploads the specific images to its servers to apply the filter. FaceApp never spells out that it’s downloading the filtered photo, but it’s not unusual, as iOS researcher and CEO of Guardian Firewall Will Strafach noted on Twitter.

Theoretically, FaceApp could process these photos on the device itself, but Yaroslav Goncharov, an ex-Yandex exec and CEO of the Russian company that created the app, previously told The Verge that photos uploaded to the app are stored on the company’s servers to save bandwidth if several filters are applied, and that they get deleted not long after.

FaceApp said it accepts requests from users to remove their data from its servers. The team is currently “overloaded,” but users can send the request through Setting>Support>Report a bug with the word “privacy” in the subject line.

Of course, we don’t know if FaceApp actually deletes the photo data, but it’s worth remembering that we upload photos of our faces to companies’ servers all the time. The only difference in this case is that unlike Facebook or Google, FaceApp is Russia-based, and thereby inherits ill will because of Americans’ perception of the country. FaceApp says no user data is transferred to Russia. Researcher Jane Wong also publicized her findings around FaceApp and noted that she wished users could delete their own data, although it now seems they can issue a request.

Another potential privacy issue people have taken note of is that the company’s privacy policy incorporates broad language that allows it to use people’s usernames, names, and likeness for commercial purposes. Lawyer Elizabeth Potts Weinstein also says the policy isn’t GDPR-compliant. Still, while this isn’t great, users often agree to wide-ranging policies that specifically use abstract language (a great way to avoid a lawsuit!). And they have no say in the matter; either they use the service or they don’t. FaceApp says it doesn’t sell user data to third parties.

FaceApp might not be a major privacy concern, but as with any app, there are always trade-offs. If you want to see what you could look like at 80 years old, you have to forfeit your photo, which includes your face. As some have pointed out, simply basing the app in Russia could expose your photos to the country’s security services. Similar claims could be made for apps based in China or even the US, but it doesn’t make the exposure any less troubling. Still, the FaceApp conversation is a worthy one to have; people should think about how their data is being used before sharing it with an unknown app.


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