Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Faceapp?

Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Faceapp?

New Delhi: Thousands of people are posting pictures and flocking around the application "FaceApp", a smartphone app that can make them look older as part of an ‘age challenge’ on social media, boosting it to the top of the Apple Store this week. ⁠

It uses neural networks - artificial intelligence modelled after the human brain that can learn from patterns - to map people's faces and generate incredibly realistic images of what they will look like in the distant future.⁠

But just because the app makes people look older, it clearly doesn't make them wiser. The sudden surge of popularity of the app raises concerns about people's privacy - and the question rises that "what this AI could do with an immense archive of people's faces.?" 

FaceApp's privacy policy makes it clear that the app pulls data like your location, IP address and log file information for the purpose of aiming targeted ads at you. With data like that, advertisers could aim ads at users in specific regions, for instance it's policy reads as below

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.

We know that facial recognition is troubling and that deepfake technology can be used to create stunningly realistic videos of a person using nothing more than a single image of their face. And users are required to provide full, irrevocable access to their personal photos & data. Playing it safe and saying thanks but no thanks to FaceApp should be an easy call. But everything is relative, and it's unfair to zero in on one problematic app when the entire internet is riddled with glaring privacy concerns, to the point where we've grown somewhat numb to them. As one headline put it, "Think FaceApp is scary? Wait until you hear about Facebook."

In other words, anyone concerned with FaceApp ought to be concerned with the entire app ecosystem -- and maybe it's a good thing that the FaceApp hubbub is drawing more attention to the larger issue at hand. In that sense, concerns about FaceApp and FaceApp alone probably are somewhat overblown.

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