The important FaceApp small print you might have missed

Dusty Baxter-Wright
Photo credit: FaceApp - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

If you, like everyone on the internet, took part in yesterday's #AgeChallenge, the chances are you've downloaded the FaceApp app to your phone.

But according to screenshots that are floating around on social media, FaceApp's terms and conditions contain some slightly concerning small print. USA Today report FaceApp's privacy policy details how the app collects "photos and other materials that you post through" the functions, with many claiming this allows them access your data.

Forbes detail how FaceApp's terms of use read, "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."

Essentially, like many other apps we use, Forbes say FaceApp is collecting the data of its users, including their names and photos, and is allowed to do what it wants with it. And as we all know, when an app collects your data, this isn't always stored securely, safely or privately.

In response to claims users should be worried about this, a FaceApp spokesperson commented:

"We are receiving a lot of inquiries regarding our privacy policy and therefore, would like to provide a few points that explain the basics. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.

"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.

"We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority. For the fastest processing, we recommend sending the requests from the FaceApp mobile app using "Settings->Support->Report a bug" with the word "privacy" in the subject line. We are working on the better UI for that

Photo credit: FaceApp - Getty Images

"All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99 per cent of users don't log in; therefore, we don't have access to any data that could identify a person. We don't sell or share any user data with any third parties. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.

"Additionally, we'd like to comment on one of the most common concerns: pictures from the gallery being uploaded to servers after a user grants access to the photos. We don't do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet."

Make of that what you will, essentially.


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