#FaceApp is everywhere at the moment. You can’t scroll through a newsfeed in any social platform right now without finding it littered with photos of people who have used the app to age their pretty faces!
The app uses AI (artificial intelligence) to change and distort photos; either making users older, younger or even swapping their genders. Sounds like a lot of harmless fun, and millions have jumped on the bandwagon.
What are you waiting for? Now I’m not always one to take a hard stance on privacy, but working in the advertising industry and perhaps being more aware of how companies harvest data and sell it to advertisers, I did take a step back and consider the implications of this.
I haven’t used the app, and I certainly won’t. In an era that has seen personal security evolve from a password to a thumbprint, to now our beautiful faces that unlock our phones, and now can be used to pay for the subway, we ought to be wary of keeping our mugshot safe.
If we learnt anything from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the quizzes/apps/games they used to harvest our data at face value seemed harmless and just a bit of fun, but it’s what they subsequently did with all the aggregated data of millions of people that we were all outraged about – and the potential and likely impact it had on elections/decisions is startling.
I’m as guilty as the next person for simply ticking the acceptance box without reading detailed terms and conditions – I certainly never do every time I update the software on my iPhone! But the #FaceApp terms and conditions are alarming to say the least; by uploading that photo of your face you are consenting to:
“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.”
With facial recognition technology growing fast; with a multitude of applications, including a pilot being run by the Metropolitan police, the risks and implications of using #FaceApp are probably low right now – just as those Facebook quizzes were at the time for Cambridge Analytica. But, the longterm impact of someone having complete rights to use an image of your face in any way they see fit is a scary thought.
Call me a buzzkill, but I think I’ll steer clear of #FaceApp for the time being.