By mid-day yesterday you couldn’t open up any social media app without seeing at least one picture from a friend or celebrity shared from the Face App. The app which was actually created back in 2017 uses hyper-realistic filters to make people look really old or young, you can change someone’s hairstyle, hair color, beard, you can add a smile, and you can seamlessly slip in background images from Google Images.
It was so easy to make pictures of yourself and friends and share it on the group text. Alas, it was all too good to be true.
It didn’t take long at all before people realized something was up with the Face App. For starters, it caught on like wildfire. The app went from complete obscurity to one of the most popular and downloaded apps in the iTunes App Store and on Android. Celebrities were sharing it left and right.
Here are some examples of the Face App, just in case you haven’t seen it yet…Here’s Lionel Messi:
Here’s one of Guy Fieri we shared on the BroBible Instagram:
Here is Cristiano Ronaldo:
You get the point… It’s incredibly easy. You just download the app, give it access to your pics, and click whichever filters you want to add.
Now for the dark part, and why you’ll probably want to delete this app immediately. I already did. It’s shamelessly violating your privacy and laughing in the face of the app store Terms Of Service.
According to Forbes, the app does automatically download your photos but they are initially processed on an Amazon server here in America…BUT, they are then viewed and processed by the developer company in St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s not fully clear yet if they are uploading individual images or ALL of your images because that’s what the app is given privacy permissions for.
Here’s what James Whatley, a strategist from Digitas in the UK posted to Twitter, after digging around on the Face App:
It reads: ‘You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable… royalty-free… license to use, adapt, publish, distribute your user content… in all media formats… when you post or otherwise share.’
FaceApp is allowed to use your name, username ‘or any likeness provided’ in any media format without compensation and you won’t have any ability to take it down or complain about it, reports claim.
It also will not compensate you for this material and it will retain the image long after you’ve deleted the app. (via)
So basically we know that it’s a Russian company based out of St. Petersburg who created the app using some extremely futuristic technology. We know they are laughing at our privacy and taking steamy hot dumps on everyone’s Terms of Service, especially in Europe where the rules are A LOT more strict.
They also have the rights and are keeping the photos long after the app is deleted which means you might as well enjoy it for a few more days if you’ve already downloaded the app and messed around with it because you’ve already gone down the rabbit hole.
It’s unclear yet just how bad this is, and what they would ever intend to do with the photographs. You could easily put in a tinfoil hat and assume since they’re Russian-based they’ll just take these to created millions and millions of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts to manipulate social media news bias over the next few years but there’s absolutely no evidence of that yet and that’s just conspiracy theory speculation.
For more on this story, you can head on over to Twitter where everyone and their brother is tweeting about ‘Face App + Russia’.