FaceApp Says It Doesn't Store Your Photos, Sell Or Share Your Personal Data
Dhir Acharya - Jul 18, 2019
With all the fun people are having with FaceApp, there’s one thing they may forget when uploading the photos of their own faces: privacy concern.
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In the latest trend on the Internet, people are using FaceApp to see what they may look like when they get old. The app, developed by Wireless Lab in Russia, became a worldwide trend overnight with the #AgeChallenge and is now all over Twitter.
However, with all the fun people are having with this app, there’s one thing they may forget when uploading the photos of their own faces: privacy concern. On Wednesday, famous app tipster Jane Wong went on Twitter, saying that she did not find any suspicious hints as she explored the code of this app. However, she said users should have had the option to delete their pictures from the server once they’re done.
On the same day, FaceApp responded to privacy concerns, with a statement first sent to TechCrunch. The app developer said that they deleted most of the photos from their servers within 48 hours since the upload date. According to FaceApp’s statement:
FaceApp additionally stated that photo processing mostly takes place in the cloud, but it does not transfer pictures from the devices to the cloud if they have not been selected to be edited. Also, the app said that it may store uploaded pictures in the cloud for traffic and performance, users don’t have to log in to use the app, and it doesn’t sell or share user data. FaceApp said that while the core research and development team is based in Russia, user data doesn't get transferred there.
FYI, this is not the first time FaceApp has raised privacy concerns among users. In 2017, the app came under fire when the “hot” filter made people’s skin lighter.
On Wednesday, NBC reported that New York Senator Chuck Schumer asked the FTC and FBI to investigate FaceApp due to national concerns over security and privacy. The senator wrote that users have to give the app full access to their photos and data and that app’s policy allows it to use as well as publish any shared content (like real names) without having to notify users.
Schumer expressed serious concerns in terms of data protection and if users know who can access their data. The senator wrote he would urge the FBI to take the steps immediately to minimize the risk posed by this data aggregation.