Experts warn people should ‘be careful’ when using ‘FaceApp’

Security fears over Russian aging app ‘FaceApp’ as experts warn it can access ALL of your pictures even if you say not to

  • FaceApp puts a filter over your face to augment it to look like an old person 
  • It uses artificial intelligence to edit a picture in your gallery and transforms it
  • Experts are concerned that it can access and store images from your camera roll
  • But people are giving FaceApp access to use, modify, adapt and publish any images of you that you offer up in exchange for its AI, the terms of service says

Experts are warning of security concerns when using FaceApp, a new social media craze that augments your face to make you look like an old person.

Developed by a team of Russian developers in 2017, the app, which puts a filter over your face, has gone viral in the last few days. 

The free service uses artificial intelligence to edit a picture in your phone gallery and transforms the image into someone double or triple your age. 

It can also change your hair colour, allow you to see what you look like with a beard, swap genders and even look younger. 

But experts are concerned of a more questionable clause in the app, which can access, store and use images from your camera roll, without your permission. 

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Experts are warning of security concerns when using FaceApp, a new social media craze that augments your face to make you look like an old person. Here, an example of how the app transforms your face. Actor Tom Holland is seen here, posted by Twitter user Your Fool

WHAT IS FACEAPP?

FaceApp is a photo-morphing app that uses what it calls artificial intelligence and neural face transformations to make alterations to faces. 

The app can use photos from your library or you can snap a photo within the app.  

The free service uses artificial intelligence to edit a picture in your phone gallery and transforms the image into someone double or triple your age. 

It can also change your hair colour, allow you to see what you look like with a beard and even look younger. 

FaceApp is currently one of the most downloaded apps for both iOS and Android, as #faceappchallenge posts have taken over social media. 

But with the surge in popularity, some have raised questions about how secure our user data is and what it does with user’s photos. 

The terms and conditions of the app essentially gives FaceApp access to use, modify, adapt and publish any images that you offer up in exchange for its AI.

James Whatley, a strategist from Digitas. UK, posted an excerpt on his Twitter page.

It reads: ‘You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable… royalty-free… license to use, adapt, publish, distribute your user content… in all media formats… when you post or otherwise share.’

FaceApp is allowed to use your name, username ‘or any likeness provided’ in any media format without compensation and you won’t have any ability to take it down or complain about it. 

It also will not compensate you for this material and it will retain the image long after you’ve deleted the app. 

Twitter users have also pointed to the app’s Russian origins — FaceApp is owned by a company, Wireless Lab, which is based in St. Petersburg.

According to Tech Crunch, the app is able to access Photos on Apple’s iOS platform even if a user has set photo permissions to ‘never’.

These apps demonstrate how much information people are giving away on the internet by using a ‘free’ service. 

In an ever-increasingly technology reliant society, some experts have highlighted that giving companies this sort of access is dangerous.  

Futurist and Business Technology expert Steve Sammartino told Australian journalist Ben Fordham that people need to be careful when using the app. 

‘Your face is now a form of copyright where you need to be really careful who you give permission to access your biometric data.

‘If you start using that willy nilly, in the future when we’re using our face to access things, like our money and credit cards, then what we’ve done is we’ve handed the keys to others.’

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