FaceApp cops flak for issues around privacy

Photo editing app FaceApp has copped flak after users have raised issues such as overriding settings despite not granting access for the app to photos, as well as uploading pictures to the cloud.

In a statement to TechCrunch, FaceApp founder Yaroslav Goncharov said that the processing of effects are done in the cloud and added that the app potentially stores photos from users only for "performance and tracking" purposes. In addition, founder Goncharov said that 99% of users do not log in to the app as it can be used without it. As such, he added that FaceApp cannot collect any data if no login is provided.

However, a quick check by Marketing showed that FaceApp's terms state that users grant the app a "perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable" license to use, modify and distribute user content in all media formats and channels.

The AI-powered app was first launched in 2017 and is known for allowing users to change their appearances. The new "aging" filter was just incorporated into the app, thus the string of celebrities already posting pictures of them looking much older.

In the era of SnapChat and Instagram, face-filter have quickly grown in prominence. In May, Snapchat’s  gender swap filter took the internet by storm, with many netizens using the filter to check out how they would look like as the opposite gender. Its new AR lenses allowed users to change their appearances to include traditionally male or female facial features. This not only gave a boost in engagement for the social media platform, it also allowed Snap to potentially capture data for future filters. Industry experts Marketing spoke to, added these filters are an indication of a growing acceptance of AR on the social platform.

Marketing has reached out to FaceApp and Goncharov for comment.


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