FaceApp developers release statement on insecurity concerns

FaceApp download interface. [Courtesy]
FaceApp has taken social media by storm. This is a Russian made application which edits one's image and imagines how he or she could look in many years to come.

Everyone is thirsting for snapping and sharing his or her own image, just to get a glimpse of how old age could look. However, security concerns have emerged, clouding the app which has received international adoration from users.

A British technologist James Whatley, who is a strategist with Digitas gave insight into the controversial clauses in the policies which he said gave leeway for the developers to access users' personal information.

Whatley tweeted a section of the FaceApp policy:

In the User Content section of the policy, the developers inform the users that their information can be used for the benefit of the company and it limits users from having control of how their data is used.

It reads: “You grant FaceApp consent to use the User Content, regardless of whether it includes an individual’s name, likeness, voice or persona, sufficient to indicate the individual’s identity. By using the Services, you agree that the User Content may be used for commercial purposes. You further acknowledge that FaceApp’s use of the User Content for commercial purposes will not result in any injury to you or to any person you authorized to act on its behalf.”

“You acknowledge that some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions, and you hereby agree that FaceApp may place such advertising and promotions on the Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your User Content."

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"The manner, mode and extent of such advertising and promotions are subject to change without specific notice to you. You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.”

FaceApp is an application which was made by a Russian firm known as Wireless Lab in 2017. It uses Artificial Intelligence technology which filters faces and edits photographs using imaginations.

Amidst fears of possible data insecurity for app users, the Wireless lab firm on Wednesday gave a statement breaking down how the data of the users cannot be breached.

The statement was shared by a tweeter user Chris Stokel-Walker, and it read:

Part of their statement emphasised that users have the ability not to directly withdraw their data from them but they (users) can request for such withdrawal first then they effect it. The Wireless Lab said that 99 per cent of users do not log in and such only means that the firm does not have access to the data.

They also denied selling or sharing users’ data with third parties. Further, they have allayed fears that users’ personal information is being wired to Russia.

On storing the information their policy partially states:

“FaceApp, its Affiliates, or Service Providers may transfer information that we collect about you, including personal information across borders and from your country or jurisdiction to other countries or jurisdictions around the world."

"If you are located in the European Union or other regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from U.S. law, please note that we may transfer information, including personal information, to a country and jurisdiction that does not have the same data protection laws as your jurisdiction.”

The policy further states that the company may use users' information provided it follows its own policies.

“By registering for and using the Service you consent to the transfer of information to the U.S. or to any other country in which FaceApp, its Affiliates or Service Providers maintain facilities and the use and disclosure of information about you as described in this Privacy Policy,” states the policy.

It notes the differences in laws which govern the cyber space and in that regard, the Wireless Lab states the policy that data protection laws will be subjected to one's region at the time.

It states:

"FaceApp, its Affiliates, or Service Providers may transfer information that we collect about you, including personal information across borders and from your country or jurisdiction to other countries or jurisdictions around the world. If you are located in the European Union or other regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from U.S. law, please note that we may transfer information, including personal information, to a country and jurisdiction that does not have the same data protection laws as your jurisdiction."

“By registering for and using the Service you consent to the transfer of information to the U.S. or to any other country in which FaceApp, its Affiliates or Service Providers maintain facilities and the use and disclosure of information about you as described in this Privacy Policy.”

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