FaceApp security concerns; Russians now own all your old photos

The origin and terms of a viral photo-manipulation app is raising red flags from digital security specialists. FaceApp, a seemingly harmless artificial intelligence app, has become a viral craze recently. The app uses AI to change photos so that users look younger or older, change their hairstyle, hair color, or even their gender. A closer inspection of the terms of the two-year old Russian-owned app have led digital privacy experts to issue a number of warnings about what it could actually be doing with your photos.

According to an article on the British newspaper The Independent, when users submit a photo to the app to change how it looks, it makes its way onto FaceApp’s servers. It is not entirely clear what is happening when it does. FaceApp has to select and upload the users’ photo to ensure that it can be altered. Then FaceApp’s artificial intelligence tools, which run on its servers, so the photo must be given over to the app.

From there, you might be giving over more than you think. Numerous people have pointed to the fact that those photos can be used by FaceApp – and not just to make you look different. FaceApps terms of service give the app the ability to use those photos in just about any way, without giving anything back to the users who first created them.

“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,” its terms read.

Simply put, the photos you upload might seem private, but that they could be used in very public ways later on.

Read the full articleHERE.

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