Nobody ever reads the terms of service agreement when you update or download a new application.
The tricky thing is that the creators are banking that you don’t read the fine details.
And this new popular viral app isn’t what it seems and we should all be alarmed about it.
It seems to happen at least several times a year. Some brand new popular application is the brand new thing that everybody seems to be doing. Remember when that Pokemon game got people out of the house and walking around their neighborhood in hopes of catching rare characters?
It’s usually a phase. It’s what seems like everybody is doing for a little while and then suddenly it’s unpopular.
That’s what’s happening right now with a new viral application called FaceApp.
It essentially takes pictures of normal you and projects what you’ll look like when you’re older.
You’ve probably already seen it if you haven’t already done it. Friends posting pictures of what they look like now and then seeing the same picture years in the future; it gives people the power to change their expressions and looks too.
But there’s a catch with the new viral sensation and it’s not what it appears to be.
FaceApp has been downloaded by more than 100 million people already and it turns out it’s owned by Russians.
On the app it reads the “Designated Agent” is “Yaroslav Goncharov” and the address is “Wireless Lab 000: 16 Avtovskaya 401 Saint Petersberg, 198096 Russia.”
And if that doesn’t alarm you: that’s not even the worst part.
Under a section called User Content it literally reads, “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, with compensation to you.”
This is my favorite part of faceapp’s terms of service. pic.twitter.com/iIwHqNAzoL
— Justin Reynolds (@justinsocial) July 17, 2019
Essentially what that means is they can take any picture of you and pawn it off as their own. That means 100 million people no longer own the pictures of themselves.
That’s incredibly alarming and also an invasion of privacy.
That may not be dangerous and your likeness may stay on Amazon servers in America, as Forbes has determined, but they still own a license to do whatever they want with it. That doesn’t mean the app’s Russian parent company, Wireless Labs, will offer your face to the FSB, but it does have consequences.
Phone Arena’s Peter Kostadinov says, “You might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.”
And the worst part of the whole thing is that to make FaceApp actually work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos – ALL of them. But it also gains access to Siri and Search. Also it has access to refreshing in the background – so even when you are not using it, it is using you.
Do not download this application and if you already have it then you should delete it from your phone immediately.