The Russian App, FaceApp is presently having
its moment across the world. The App that applies filters to pictures has trended
down to even Africa and now, there are privacy concerns over the App.
Initially, the app had gone viral in 2017 but this time around, a new feature which makes users looks older or younger than their age has been added to the App, making it more popular.
And with the recent viral moment, Users are,
however, surprised to learn that the creators behind the app are harvesting metadata
from their pictures.
While research still suggests that the App does nothing unusual in it network traffic, and in its coding, conversations bring attention to the standard tech practices that might even be more invasive than what the users’ has learned.
“In order to use the app, an iOS user
will have to select specific photos that need to be filtered and there’s no
proof or display icon of the app downloading user’s complete pictures roll.
Afterward, the company uploads the selected images to its server and apply the chosen filter. Meaning, FaceApp never display that it’s downloading the filtered photo, but its, however, not unusual,” Will Strafach, the iOS researcher and CEO of the Guardian Firewall had explained on Twitter.
Hypothetically, FaceApp might have processed these pictures on the device itself, but an ex-Yandex Executive and CEO of the Russian Company, Yaroslav Goncharov had earlier revealed that the pictures uploaded to the App are directly stored on its servers in a bid to save bandwidth and are deleted after a short period.
In a press statement, FaceApp equally disclosed its accepting requests from its users to remove data from its server. Although the team is presently overloaded, FaceApp users can still send across their request through Setting>Support>Report a bug with the word “privacy” as the subject.
Indeed, we can’t tell if these photos are actually deleted as confessed by the company, but it’s worth uploading pictures to a company’s server. Specifically, the company promised that no user data will be transferred to Russia.
Is this calming enough? No, I guess!
Jane Manchun Wong, a researcher also disclosed her findings on FaceApp and stated she just wished users could delete their uploaded items. Well, you can now send a request.
Nevertheless, it best you sit back, think about how a company’s data are being used before sharing your photos/documents with an unknown App.