If you and your mates have access to mobile technology, odds are you’ve been amusing yourselves by sharing ‘aged up’ pics, all thanks to the magic of FaceApp.
Before this trend, we all had a good hoot at the gender swap filter and the face swap filter, with many of us delighting in swapping faces with our pets or favourite celebs.
FaceApp has rapidly become part of everyday conversation; the stuff of office banter and pub jokes, memes and family WhatsApp groups. Right now, you can’t manoeuvre through Twitter without seeing friends’ faces looking barely familiar beneath fake wrinkles and silvery beards.
Not many of us really think about what we’re actually giving away when we snap gleefully at our faces, giggling as we apply the silliest new filter. But should we be more worried? Absolutely.
As reported by Forbes, over 100,000 million people have downloaded FaceApp from Google Play.
FaceApp is also currently the number one top free and number two top grossing app on the Apple App Store.
These impressive figures become pretty damn disquieting once you check out FaceApp’s terms of service.
According to FaceApp’s terms and conditions:
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.
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.
Me: I care about my privacy and how my data is being used.
— Dr DoWhittle 🍭 (@AlexWhits) July 17, 2019
As reported by Peter Kostadinov from PhoneArena.com, FaceApp is developed by a Russian company called Wireless Lab, which has exclusive rights to your pics as soon as you download the app.
As chillingly noted by Kostadinov:
You might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.
The worst part is that this right is irrevocable, meaning you can’t just delete your profile from the app and the app itself and expect Wireless Lab to stop using your content as it sees fit.
— Emily Christer (@Emily_Nudge) July 17, 2019
Eek. Excuse me while I delete all my apps and go live in a secluded cave…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.