FACEAPP FEVER TAKES OVER SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
FaceApp, which was initially launched in 2017, made a significant return to the spotlight this week after it unveiled a new version of its old age filter. You will have seen celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay, Drake and even the likes of The Jonas Brothers sharing a sneak peak of themselves as wrinkle-laden 75-year-olds via their social feeds. It’s not, however, just famous faces who have taken part in this viral trend, countless other people have taken the opportunity to age themselves, and it’s easy to see why given how easy the process is – users simply download the app, click ‘yes’ on the terms of service without actually reading them (because who realistically has the time to scroll through the wordy legalities), start snapping and uploading pictures of themselves, and applying the ‘age’ filter.
Whilst this trend has taken over our social media feeds, the app from Russian tech company, Wireless Lab, has raised privacy concerns with many warning that its policies could allow it to collect all the images people upload to it. Close research, however, suggests FaceApp isn’t doing anything particularly unusual in either its code or its network traffic. Yes, *theoretically*, FaceApp could process your photos and store them on the company’s servers, but this same process is in place for a lot of other popular apps.
Are there privacy concerns? Yes. Has it stopped millions of people with engaging with it? No. Still, the conversation does bring attention to standard tech practices that might be more invasive than users realise. It looks like we all need to take time to stop and actually read the t’s and c’s.
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