Following the recent #10YearsChallenge, the latest viral trend that has taken over the world is FaceApp.

The program uses the artificial intelligence (AI) face editor to “age” photos of people. Of course, it’s all in good fun. But did you know that your personal privacy could be in jeopardy?

Source: Google Images

Since it went viral, many privacy advocates have been warning netizens about the Russian-made app. Here’s the thing, most of us never bother to read its privacy policy. So you probably aren’t aware that FaceApp will have full control and usage rights over your photos as well as personal data.


Besides gobbling up personal information from your phone, FaceApp will also have control over a friend or family member’s photos if their face gets uploaded as well. Here are some key things industry experts would like to highlight:

The Washington Post raised some questions to FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov which may help to shed some light on the raising privacy concerns.


1. What data do they take?

The app “only upload a photo selected by a user for editing”. It doesn’t access the rest of your remaining camera roll.

2. How long do they hold on to my data?

FaceApp apparently deletes “most” photos from its servers after 48 hours.

3. Who has access to my data?

Goncharov clarifies that the Russian government authorities doesn’t have access to our photos. Some users have pointed out that the company may have been sharing user data with trackers from Facebook and AdMob.

4. How can I delete my data?

Deleting your photos won’t remove them from FaceApp’s cloud. You can put in a request but the process isn’t going to be fast and straightforward.

Cyber-security researcher Jane Manchun Wong also gave her 2 cents on why it made sense for FaceApp “to upload user’s photo to their server and process them in their server”.

Although FaceApp isn’t running facial identification on us. Legally, they have the right to do that through an “irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully paid, transferable sub-licensable licence”. Especially if the company choose to sell it to someone else in the future.

At the end of the day, you do you. Just be aware of the risks at hand.

Sources: SCMP, Alyssa Oon.

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