No, FaceApp isn’t taking photos of your face and taking them back to Russia for some nefarious project. At least that’s what current evidence suggests.
After going viral in 2017, and amassing more than 80 million active users, it’s blowing up again thanks to the so-called FaceApp Challenge, in which celebs (and everyone else) have been adding years to their visage with the app’s old-age filter. The app uses artificial intelligence to create a rendering of what you might look like in a few decades on your iPhone or Android device.
But one tweet set off a minor internet panic this week, when a developer warned that the app could be taking all the photos from your phone and uploading them to its servers without any obvious permission from the user.
The tweeter, Joshua Nozzi, said later he was trying to raise a flag about FaceApp having access to all photos, even if it wasn’t uploading them to a server owned by the Russian company.
Storm in an internet teacup?
This all turns out to be another of the Web’s many storm-in-teacup moments. A security researcher who goes by the pseudonym Elliot Alderson (real name Baptiste Robert) downloaded the app and checked where it was sending users’ faces. The French cyber expert found FaceApp only took submitted photos—those that you want the software to transform—back up to company servers…. see more