FaceApp’s latest Old look filter is the new sensation on the internet. We have seen our friends as well as many famous personalities sharing their now and old look photo made through this app. The app was initially released in 2017 and had gone viral then for all the wrong reasons. It was highly criticized for the skin tone filters which used to lighten the tone of dark skin. The company had then removed the filters from the app. It has sparked another serious debate over the security of the user’s personal data.
What is FaceApp
FaceApp is a mobile application for iOS and Android developed by Russian company Wireless Lab. The application lets you pick a photo from your gallery and gives you the power to change facial expressions, looks, age, and gender.
Developer(s): Wireless Lab
Operating system: iOS, Android
Initial release: January 2017; 2 years ago
License: Proprietary software
It can be easily downloaded from the AppStore or Google Play store. The App gives multiple options to manipulate the uploaded photo. The app also provides options to change backgrounds, add filter, blur, and add tattoos.
The App has gained a huge user base and is top-ranked in the iOS App Store. More than 100 million users have downloaded the app from the Google Play store.
There is a huge surge in the popularity of the FaceApp as we can see everybody sharing their old look pictures on social media. The #FaceAppChallenge is trending on twitter and other social platforms with celebrities all around the world sharing their pictures.
Bollywood celebrities too are not behind in sharing their old look photos and fans are going crazy over their photos.
Old age hit me like .. 👀 pic.twitter.com/8yHwIxTlyv— Arjun Kapoor (@arjunk26) July 16, 2019
Desi bond. pic.twitter.com/iSjnQVuDA0— Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) July 17, 2019
How the FaceApp works
The App uses neural networks to make its facial transformations. It’s an artificial intelligence technique by which a network determines how a person would age over the period of time.
You can select a photo from your gallery or can take a picture through the app cam. The selected photo can then be edited using the various options provided in the app. The edited photo can then be saved to your gallery.
The app came under the scanner when the US senator called for FBI investigation into FaceApp over privacy concerns. New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer has asked the FBI to launch a probe into the app after it was learned that it uploads the photos from users’ phone to the cloud and that it requires full access to their personal photos and data. It has now sparked an international debate on the credibility of the app company and the vulnerability of the user data.
Although it states that “we will not rent or sell your information to third parties outside FaceApp,” it also mentions that “We may remove parts of data that can identify you and share anonymized data with other parties. We may also combine your information with other information in a way that it is no longer associated with you and share that aggregated information.” The app also collects information about users browsing history, including the browser search, websites visited, landing pages, etc.
The US Senate has already expressed concerns over the app. It is not clear whether the FBI will start a probe into the app or if the USA will impose any ban on the app in the country. US senators are working on finding a way to dissuade the government officials and military personnel from installing the app. The senator also suggested starting an awareness program to inform the citizens about the risk involved. The senator also expressed fear of landing the sensitive information in the hands of the Russian government, although there is no evidence supporting the claim.
The company, however, has said that it uses Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud service and no data is transferred to Russia. The company also informed that it might store the photos users have chosen to upload in the cloud for a short period. It also mentioned that “Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date,”
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