Did you trade your privacy for a laugh in app?

You have probably done it, and if you have not, you have definitely seen an ‘old version’ of a friend you follow on social media pop up on your timeline.

A popular App that purports to show the appearance of people when aged has been a hit on Facebook over the past week. The excitement hit like a wave. 

On musical group Sauti Sol’s Facebook page, a picture of Bien Aime Baraza with the caption “Ujana ni moshi, unapita tu,” (Youth is just but smoke, quickly flies away) cracked up followers of the group gathering hilarious comments.

Jenny De Jeynner, commented, “I guess you are adopting Ken wa Maria’s vibe.”

The excitement it elicited will soon be drowned as concerns emerge as to how safe the App is. Fears that FaceApp could have mined data from social media users have escalated that even the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has been called upon to investigate it.

US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the probe, arguing that the App poses national security and privacyrisks for millions of American citizens. 

FaceApp alters an image into what could be a younger or older version of a person. Now it emerges that the developers, Wireless Labs based in St Petersburg, Russia, could have harvested all the photos and other information into their system – without your knowledge.

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The app attracted global attention, including in Kenya where some of the leaders used it to the amusement of their followers

Renowned author Elizabeth Potts Weinten raised the issue and attempted an explanation as to what those who have used the app could have gotten themselves into.

On Twitter, Weinsten said: “If you use #FaceApp you are giving them a licence to use your photos, your name, your username, and your likeness for any purpose, including commercial (like on billboard or internet ad) – see their terms”.

The app’s condition for use states: You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, non-inclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable licence 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.

When you post or otherwise share user content on or through our services, you understand that your user content and any associated information (such as your (username), location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

The firm, however, released a statement denying any probability of misusing information provided by users. It noted that it performs photo processing in the clouds and only uses the photo provided by the user.

“We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for this is performance and traffic: We want to ensure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date,” the app’s founders responded.

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FaceAppOld AgePrivacy