Russian-owned smartphone app faces privacy concerns

  • Friday 19, July 2019 02:09 PM
Sharjah 24 – Reuters: Photo-editing app Faceapp is facing security concerns over allegedly storing user data onto Russian servers.
Faceapp uses artificial intelligence to alter human faces into aged versions of themselves.

Forbes reports that the app's parent company is Wireless Lab, a Russian-based tech company.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Faceapp explained that only images selected for editing by users logged into the app are uploaded onto a cloud database, and most are deleted within 48 hours.

The company said the reason for this is "performance and traffic," to ensure that user images aren't uploaded repeatedly after every edit.

Faceapp claims user data isn't transferred to Russia and is instead stored in Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. It isn't sold or shared with any third parties, either."

The company says users can opt out and remove their data from the app by sending a delete request, adding that they are working on a better user interface to deal with the issue.

By agreeing to their Terms of Service, users are granting Faceapp permission to "modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display[a]" any images they put into the app.

This gives Faceapp the license to use the images for anything from training its AI algorithm to advertisement, according to Forbes.