FaceApp responds to privacy concerns after age-filtering viral craze
Your old person photos may not be safe.July 17, 2019
FaceApp, the program responsible for the slew of elderly photos on social media as of late, has responded to security concerns raised by users.
The app behind one of the latest internet trends came under fire due to questions about the access it has to your phone’s photos.
If you didn’t know, this is the app that’s flooding your feed with photos of celebrities as senior citizens.
Everybody has been getting into the latest viral sensation, including some very familiar faces.
Miss May I + We Came As Romans + The Word Alive tour announcement:
Come see us on our 40th anniversary tour, tickets on sale in 2049 ?? pic.twitter.com/s6YJUFATEa
— TELLE SMITH (@tellesmith) July 16, 2019
After going viral once again due to the aging feature, users began questioning details around the app’s use of their photos. Some accused the software of uploading their entire library to the cloud.
The app was also accused of bypassing phone privacy settings, allowing them to access the full camera roll without permission.
The Russian startup assured users only selected information and photos can be used outside the app in a statement today.
The statement addresses accusations about the uploading and use of user photos. The statement also directly cites a tweet claiming FaceApp uploads the entirety of user camera rolls.
Is this FaceApp? As soon as I granted access to my photos it started listing them slowly a row at a time, almost like network delays. I quickly hit Airplane Mode and it instantly listed them all, refusing to let me select any because I’m offline. IT’S UPLOADING ALL YOUR PHOTOS.
— Joshua Nozzi ????? ⚣ (@JoshuaNozzi) July 16, 2019
TechCrunch shared FaceApp’s full statement, which you can see below.
1. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.
2. We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.
3. We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority. For the fastest processing, we recommend sending the requests from the FaceApp mobile app using “Settings->Support->Report a bug” with the word “privacy” in the subject line. We are working on the better UI for that.
4. All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99% of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person.
5. We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.
6. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.
Additionally, we’d like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all pictures from the gallery are uploaded to our servers after a user grants access to the photos (for example, https://twitter.com/joshuanozzi/status/1150961777548701696). We don’t do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet.
See more: The 11 most punk films of all time