FaceApp: Your Photos and Personal Data Are NOT Transferred to Russia or any 3rd Parties

Ciara Alarcon
In case you’ve been living under a rock, FaceApp has been making noise online, as celebrities (and almost everyone else) have been actively posting their photos with the app’s old-age filter on different social media platforms. To make their photos look accurate, the app uses artificial intelligence to transform their submitted images into what they might look like in a few decades.

FaceApp: Your Data Is NOT Transferred to Russia or any 3rd Parties
FaceApp: Your Photos and Personal Data Are NOT Transferred to Russia or any 3rd Parties

However, some developers warned social media users that FaceApp might take all the photos from their phones and upload it to its servers. They also suggest that the app can commercially use their photos without asking for their permission. While FaceApp claimed that users still own their content, its terms of use stated that the app has a right to have an irrevocable royalty-free license to these data.

“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. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your username, location or profile photo) will be visible to the public,” FaceApp terms of use.

With this, many media outlets – led by American websites – raised a red flag, informing readers that FaceApp collects all photos saved on their phones.

Fortunately, according to a French security expert who downloaded the app, Baptiste Robert, FaceApp only took submitted photos that users want the software to transform. To complete the process, the app sends the data to its servers, which are mostly based in America.

Forbes also reported that the servers for FaceApp.io were really based in Amazon data centers in the U.S., while some servers were also hosted by Google – including those in other countries such as Ireland and Singapore.

With this, even if Russian intelligence demand users' data from the app, FaceApp will surely have a hard time getting these from its servers based in the U.S.

FaceApp also reached out to Forbes, and revealed that users' data are not transferred to Russia and most of its photo processing happened in the cloud. In addition, the company explained that users can even request to delete their user data through the app's settings.

“We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud,” Yaroslav Goncharov, FaceApp founder, addressed.

App Store
App Store

See Also: Facebook, Instagram Users Advised to Reset Password

"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," Goncharov added.

Moreover, the company said that they never sell or share any personal information with any third parties.

In short, it’s true that users give FaceApp an access to their submitted photos. And if you think that this is too much for your privacy, then, you might as well review the terms and conditions of Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat that also gather personal information including name, photos, users' locations, liked pages, chats, and more.

Hence, this might be the perfect time to educate users about the importance of our personal data that we usually share with these platforms.

What’s your take with this privacy issue? Let us know what you think!

Source: Forbes

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