Internet safety and privacy is a topic that continues to attract fiercely opinionated debate. Social media, in particular, is often the recipient of hefty criticism concerning its lackadaisical approach to securing sensitive data but now it’s the turn of recreational apps. Released back in 2017, Russian-made FaceApp has recently been placed under a great deal of scrutiny due to a clause discovered in its terms of service.
Why the sudden concern when the topic of discussion is already two years old? Well, it largely boils down to heightened awareness of FaceApp’s existence thanks in no small part to several recently added features. More specifically, old age and gender-changing filters have prompted the application to explode in popularity and go viral in the process. While it’s undoubtedly entertaining to see what you might look like as the opposite gender or a pensioner, several watchdogs have begun issuing warnings about its use.
As it turns out, one specific paragraph in the app’s ToS essentially describes how it can strip users of any ownership of personal photos. Furthermore, creator Wireless Lab further stipulates it may use your likeness for any number of reasons, for which the original owner will receive no warning or compensation.
Check out the full statement below:
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Use of disclaimers such as those above aren’t unheard of but users should nonetheless be wary of allowing the app access to any sensitive material, not least private images. It’s worth noting too, that this disclaimer is exactly that. Wireless Lab could well have no intention of using said content for such purposes and in absence of any complaints directly linked to FaceApp usage, that so far seems to be the case.
Nevertheless, be sure to think twice before whipping your phone out for a quick pic in the future. As for those that use FaceApp purely for the purposes of altering the appearance of fictional characters, there’s nothing to see here.