The new FaceApp is raising security concerns, after reports surfaced that a Russian company assumes ownership of the photos uploaded. The app gives users a photoshopped image of what they would look like as elderly people, and has been a hit on social media. Many celebrities such as Drake, Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Jonas Brothers and even Property Brothers have even been jumping in on it. But now a report from the New York Post warns that the app has significant potential security risks.
The outlet notes that experts have stated that the company responsible for the app — Wireless Lab — is based out of St. Petersburg, Russia.
The NY Post goes on to warn that when users agree to the Terms and Conditions the app is granted permission to their photo gallery and give them "the right to modify, reproduce and publish any of the images you process through its AI."
That Faceapp face-aging thing?
-Requires your Facebook login— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) July 17, 2019
-receives your name, profile picture, photos and email address via FB
-The company is based in St. Petersburg, Russia 1/3
James Whatley, a UK-based Digitas strategist spoke out about the app on Twitter, telling users, “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.”
Essentially, what this means is that the app now has the right to use photos, names, and any likeness they want without having to notify the users.
-“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 share”— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) July 17, 2019
-"hackers (and Russian gov by proxy) can cross-reference your face and phone info w the websites you’re using 2/3
Even if the app is deleted, the company still has the ability to use what they have been given access to.
Security expert Ariel Hochstadt spoke about hackers who have been known to work with the Russian government getting into the databases and secretly recording people through their phone cameras.
-"Ariel Hochstadt told Daily Mail that hackers, who are not infrequently agents of the Russian government, can log the websites visited and “the activities they perform in those websites,” though they might not know the identity of the person being tracked." 3/3— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) July 17, 2019
“They also know who this image is, with the huge database they created of Facebook accounts and faces, and the data they have on that person is both private and accurate to the name, city and other details found on Facebook,” Hochstadt went on to say.0comments
“With so many breaches, they can get information and hack cameras that are out there, and be able to create a database of people all over the world, with information these people didn’t imagine is collected on them.”
Photo Credit: Jonas Brothers / Instagram