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Viral Face App’s terms and conditions turns out to be a privacy ‘trap hole’

Everyone is talking about FaceApp the app that can edit photos of people’s faces to show younger or older versions of themselves.

Thousands of people are sharing the results of their own experiments with the app on social media. The app can turn blank or grumpy expressions into smiling ones and it can tweak make-up styles. This is done with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). An algorithm takes the input picture of your face and adjusts it based on other imagery.

But since the face-editing tool went viral in the last few days, some have raised concerns over its terms and conditions.

According to FaceApp’s terms and conditions and under the ‘User Content’ section, “You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

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This means that if you use the app, you give them a rights-free licence to use your photos with terms stipulated in the document and you won’t be paid for it.

Others have speculated that FaceApp may use data gathered from user photos to train facial recognition algorithms. This can be done even after the photos themselves are deleted because measurements of features on a person’s face can be extracted and used for such purposes.

Some question why FaceApp needs to upload photos at all when the app could in theory just process images locally on smartphones rather than send them to the cloud. In FaceApp’s case, the server that stores user photos is located in the US. FaceApp itself is a Russian company with offices in St Petersburg.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0CjpX1lFcJ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Steven Murdoch, at University College London, agreed. “It would be better for privacy to process the photos on the smartphone itself but it would be likely [to be] slower, use more battery power, and make it easier for the FaceApp technology to be stolen,” he told BBC News.

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US lawyer Elizabeth Potts Weinstein argued the app’s terms and conditions suggested user photos could be used for commercial purposes, such as FaceApp’s own ads. Mr Goncharov said terms in FaceApp’s privacy policy were generic. He said the company does not share any data for ad-targeting purposes. The app made money through paid subscriptions for premium features instead, he added.
a number of face-editing features.

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This might be me in 2063😂😂😂 What a wow! Probably with kids and I pray by then there is sex education in schools but I will definitely talk to my kids about sex and the importance of vaccines, using condoms and birth control. Talking about sex growing up was taboo in our home, guys I used to think that as soon as my period starts I am automatically pregnant, if I ever masturbate which I only knew existed 400 years later, I am automatically pregnant 😂 I didn't know sex had to be involved, cause my Mum always said to us "When your period starts you will get pregnant and I will kill you!"😂 I believed her so when my period started in 2001, I stopped playing sports, started eating stones and doing things I had seen pregnant women do because I was convinced I miraculously had a baby and was wondering what to tell my Mum cause it wasn't my fault, I had no control over my period starting! Also how did Dad's get picked? Was their an election?😂 Dumb I know but true. Fortunately a girl in a year above me while we were waiting to be picked up after school a couple of weeks later asked me why I was holding my tummy and I gave her the above story, she laughed for days then explained to me how periods work, what sex entails etc. I was then and still am against having sex before the age of 20 and above because there is so much you need to know, there are vaccines you need to take, precautions you need to take etc This you must have sex to be cool trend is going to get a lot of young people sick. Abstinence till your old enough to understand what your getting into won't kill you. Anyway! Were any of you in the dark before about sex, periods, pregnancy and all? Or still are?😄 #FormNiGani thank you for creating a platform where we can talk about some of our experiences 😄

A post shared by Anita Nderu (@anitanderu) on

The firm’s chief executive, Yaroslav Goncharov shared a company statement that said FaceApp only uploads photos selected by users for editing. “We never transfer any other images,” the statement added.

The statement said that while FaceApp accepts requests from users to have their data deleted, the company’s support team was currently “overloaded”. FaceApp advises users to submit such requests through settings, support, “report a bug” and add “privacy” in the subject line. User data was not transferred to Russia, the statement added.

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Kids meet your future peng grandma 👵 Future vs Now

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A post shared by Lucia Musau (@luciamusau) on

FaceApp is not new. It first hit the headlines two years ago with its “ethnicity filters”. These purported to transform faces of one ethnicity into another – a feature that sparked a backlash and was quickly dropped.

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