Over time we have talked about and trained Data protection in regards to Data Privacy and Protection act (DPPA) that protects the privacy of an individual and of personal data by regulating the collection and processing of personal information; to provide rights to data owners and obligations to data collectors, controllers and data processors; to regulate disclosure of data and usage of personal data
January 2017, an application on google store called FaceApp was developed for iOS and it was developed from Russia in a company located at St. Petersburg-based Wireless Lab which uses neural network technology to generate highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs automatically.
July 16, 2019 a reform and a re-emergency of a technological artifact in guise of Artificial Intelligence among the Internet of Things (IoT) error called the alter-age FaceApp has gained immense popularity for allowing users to digitally alter their age, from much younger to much older. And to this end celebrities have also joined in, registering to the FaceApp and posting pictures of their youthful, current or elder selves. And more than a million users have downloaded the app from Google Appstore. FaceApp is now the number-one ranked app in the Apple Store’s “Photo and Video” apps section.
What is wrong with this App?
The terms and conditions as by the “FaceApp Terms Policy” to the usage of this app allow it to access to use, modify, adapt and publish any images that the user offers up in exchange for its free artificial intelligence service (AIS).
And as the crowd is all submitting to the App, they are considering the good side of the technology and having fun sharing without a mind that by using this App, “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.” the FaceApp terms read on section 5, second line, read here.
Now according to the Data Privacy and Protection Act (DPPA) of 2019 section 3, 7,10, data collectors, processors and controllers have to be accountable and responsible for the data collected from data owners and data owners have to have consent of their personal data usage and personal data has to remain private according to the terms that bind the agreement of data collection. The terms of FaceApp usage violate all the rules as stated in those sections of the DPPA of 2019. Read the Act
According to a security personnel David Shipley of Beauceron Security said as he shared on twitter that;
“while the product may be advertised as ‘free’, it’s your information that’s the real price. He noted that even a picture of your face can do plenty of damage. It can be used to identify you and unlock things like your smartphone or other things and you want to make sure you protect your identity.”
Security view of alter-age FaceApp
On the security side, it is a dangerous evolution as these collected photos in the cloud maybe used to create fake social media accounts with similar and almost authentic or even make copies of your own social media profile to target friends and followers and family with attacking schemes like advanced scams, phishing and spam attacks.
There are actually other apps that can actually do a similar thing but run locally on the phone and don’t have to first send personal details to a particular server elsewhere on the cloud like Face Changer, MSQRD, Face Secret etc.
Are users aware of all this?
People who downloaded and used the app automatically agreed to a mandatory arbitration clause and this means that they deprived themselves of the right to take any legal complaints to court.
“Except for small claims disputes in which you or FaceApp seek to bring an individual action in small claims court located in the county of your billing address or disputes in which you or FaceApp seeks injunctive or other equitable relief for the alleged unlawful use of intellectual property, you and FaceApp waive your rights to a jury trial and to have any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms or our Services resolved in court,” the company’s terms read.
For any references you may click here to read the FaceApp privacy report