Have you ever wondered what you’d look like when you’re older? Or what you’d look like if you had fewer wrinkles or if you changed gender? Then look no further because there’s an app for that!
Yes, the FaceApp is a mobile application that makes use of artificial intelligence and creates realistic images of you a few decades on and even allows you to reminisce by seeing a younger version of yourself.
It’s made headlines and we’re sure that by now you’ve heard some of the rumors going around. This came after a challenge swept internationally which involved users posting pictures of their future selves much to the amusement of friends and family. A few likes were given, jokes were said, and fun was had.
The app which is available for iOS and Android phones all sounds like innocent fun, but as the craze of sharing versions of yourself in your old age gained momentum one developer raised the issue of privacy and data collection.
It’s has been created by a Russian company, Wireless Lab. Being a Russian app is in itself not sinister (some though claimed it was). But for those who worry about an app being created in Russia – cast your mind back to whether you can think of an American company that was fined $5 billion for taking client data without users’ permission. Hint: the name also starts with an ‘F’.
The main concern with FaceApp, however, was about privacy and the use of pictures. Some wondered whether it’s really worth it to ‘meet your future self’ when you’re potentially parting with valuable data in the present.
According to reports, this was all sparked by a developer that claimed that FaceApp would have access to all photos on your phone. But this has since been discredited by other developers and reporters that have contacted the company to verify what, in fact, happens to the data.
Yaroslav Goncahrov, FaceApp’s founder, told Forbes.com that the company only uploads a photo selected by the user for editing. He went on to say: “We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud…We might store an upload photo in the cloud.”
Then he assured that most images are deleted from servers within 48 hours and that no data was sold onto third parties.
We’ll leave you to decide who to believe. But this leads us to another question which you may not have asked yourself yet, which is: “Are you sure that other apps you’ve downloaded are in fact not downloading things like your contact details, images and shopping data from your phone?”
When last have you looked at the terms and conditions of the apps that you use – be they for work or for play? How can you trust that the company behind the app on your phone is not using your data, or your company’s data, for their own gains and selling all the information to third parties?
Unless you’ve gone through terms and conditions with a fine tooth comb the answer is – you don’t! Best you go through all that now to make sure that you’re not imparting with some precious information.