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FaceApp privacy threat: We are knowingly giving away our biometric data to the Russians

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FaceApp privacy threat: We are knowingly giving away our biometric data to the Russians

FaceApp has caused a minor kerfuffle on the internet for showing how users will look when they age. The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) and neural engine to edit selfies and add filters to the photos.

FaceApp has caused a minor kerfuffle on the internet for showing how users will look when they age. The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) and neural engine to edit selfies and add filters to the photos. Driven by celebrities, the app has gone viral and people are clicking and uploading their aged versions on to the social media sites. However, many missed the darker side of this app which is developed by a Russian company called Wireless Lab.

The biggest concern is the FaceApp's terms and conditions that are inherently vague. FaceApp not just captures the user's face but also acquires private user data. FaceApp's terms of use clearly state that the users of the app grant it a "royalty-free, worldwide" ability to "use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute and display" photos and other materials. The company policy also states that it can share certain information with unidentified businesses that are or may become its "affiliates". FaceApp shares the cookie data with the third-party advertisers to "deliver targeted advertisements" and "other things."

FaceApp's privacy concerns came to light after a developer Joshua Nozzi took to Twitter and said that the app uploads the users' photos to the cloud. FaceApp has, however, denied the claim.

We already give away a lot of our private data to the internet companies and we can do without one unknown Russian company having access to our biometric information. In the coming years, our biometric information will hold the keys to everything ranging from our bank information to our homes. The scary part is that now FaceApp doesn't just have access to your present but also to the way you'll look in the future. This data can be used to replicate someone's face and create masks using a 3D printer.

FaceApp was launched in 2017 and was deemed controversial even then after The Washington Post reported that the apps privacy policy was "creeping people out." The app was then called out for tracking and collecting quite a lot of information about the user, both for "improving the service" and to show ads.

Edited by Udit Verma