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What is FaceApp? Is FaceApp Safe?

What is FaceApp?

Initial Release: January 2017 
Developed by: Wireless Lab.

FaceApp


FaceApp is the mobile application that generates highly realistic transformations of the face. There are multiple options to manipulate photos uploaded such as adding different types of impressions, hairstyles, beards, hair colors, smiles, etc. The old-age filters have attracted people and make FaceApp popular.
It is developed by a Russian Company Wireless Lab which uses artificial neural network technology to transforms the faces.

How FaceApp Works?

FaceApp uses Machine Learning and algorithms to apply a filter on your face. It is the same technology that is used in Snapchat, Instagram filters, and Deep facks.
In Short, you have to provide input in the form of existing old faces and young faces. So that the algorithm is able to understand the pattern of how old faces and young faces look and when a lot of data is entered, it will recognize the common things that these patterns are visible in every human's young and old face.
So it will apply the same patterns on the existing young photos and an old face filter will be created.
When you click a photo with this app or choose an existing photo, then this app sends this photo to its servers and there the applies its algorithm and filters and sends it back to your phone and you view the photo with the filter. The FaceApp requires and Internet Connection if you wish to apply filters.
To explain why they send your photo to their servers, the FaceApp developers say that the algorithms and machine learning used in this app require a lot of processing power because it is a very sophisticated algorithm by which you are able to see a very realistic looking face. So they claim that the normal smartphones do not have this amount of processing power except the latest smartphones that the processing could be done on the phones, hence they send the photos to the servers.

Is FaceApp Safe?

In order to use the FaceApp, the user must provide the company full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data.
According to its privacy policy, users grant FaceApp license to use or publish content shared with the application, including their username or even their real name.
In practice, providing this level of access to a user's data could mean that any photos taken with the application could be used publically or privately in the future without user consent.
If you pay attention when downloading face app then you find that in their privacy policy this is written that they can read, delete and modify USB storage content. They also have access to cameras and videos and they can receive internet all data, also read Google service configuration.


FaceApp Response

Let us see what the makers of Faceapp said in response to this entire controversy. They said that FaceApp only uploads those photos on the servers that you want to apply a filter upon and you choose that photo yourself from your mobile. This app does not upload all the photos from your phone.
They said if someone is suspicious, then they can use network sniffing tools and find out themselves whether all of your photos are being uploaded or only one is being uploaded that you choose yourself. Someone did check this and confirmed that this app uploads only one photo that you choose.
Secondly, the company said that the photos that are uploaded on its servers, most of the images out of them are deleted within 48 hours means it does not store them there. But we do not have any way to check this so it is up to you whether you believe them or not
Thirdly, the research and development of this app are based in Russia but this app uses the USA servers. It utilizes Amazon web services and Google cloud.
The founder of this app said we don't sell or share any user data with any third parties.
They also said that it is not possible to links a person's face with his name or data only through this app because most of the users of this app do not log in on it. If a person uploads photos without logging in, the app would not know the name of that person, so it is not possible to link names with faces

Delete your data from FaceApp

Finally, this app also stated that if you want to remove all of your data from its servers, then you can also do this by request. so for this, you have to go to the setting of this app, then go to support and then click on ''report a bug'' and write ''Privacy'' in the subject line of a message when you send report a bug message and write that you want all your data deleted, then this app will delete all your data.


Should You Use FaceApp

So the question arises here is that should you use this app? Is this app is safe for your data and privacy?
What do you feel? Think about it.
In my opinion, It is that safe to you use this app as it is to use other social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, etc. There is no huge danger associated with this app.
The privacy risks of using this app are the same or more than using Instagram or Facebook. This app has only your photos but Facebook not only has your photos but also your name, date of birth, phone number, likes dislikes and other things.

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