Thursday, July 25, 2019

Privacy Concerns Online | Is FaceApp Safe?

privacy concerns online and faceapp

Recently, pictures of all your friends covered in wrinkles have gone viral. Everyone’s doing it and commenting on how much they look like a grandparent of theirs. Then, the debate over terms of service agreements and the company’s origin and intentions have sparked controversy. Should you have privacy concerns online regarding the FaceApp?  Let’s take a look.

A Bad Idea?

As soon as it seemed like everyone was posting their picture, the “thoughtful” friends appeared in the comments. Didn’t you read the terms of service? Don’t you know this company owns all your photos now? Is the company spying on behalf of Russia?

The Industry Norm?

And of course, there was the in-turn response: Facebook creates just as many privacy concerns online as the FaceApp. No one reads the terms of service agreements. Doesn’t the US government already keep track of our online activity?

A Mixed Bag

Well, the truth is somewhat murkier than either side would have you believe. FaceApp is probably not going to use your photos to create crazy DeepFake videos. The App’s founder Yaroslav Goncharov insists that no data is sent to Russia. They also claim that your data is not shared or sold to third parties. While all of this is comforting, it does not seem to be entirely true.

Privacy Policy Woes

In its privacy policy, FaceApp does ask users to “grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content.” That’s definitely not something most people would be comfortable with.

Beyond that, the Washington Post found that FaceApp did have third party trackers in its app. Also, its photos are processed in the cloud rather than on your device. While it claims photos are deleted within 48 hours, there’s no real way to verify this.

FaceApp and Privacy Concerns Online

The most alarming aspect of the whole FaceApp debate is not that it is some anomaly in the tech landscape, but that it isn’t. Privacy policies are rarely read, and for good reason. They’re super long, and they’re written by experts who can easily bury their true objective in legalese on behalf of the app. Checking the “agree” box initiates a commonplace scheme: your data is sent to a variety of locations.

privacy concerns online and faceapp

The stakes are huge. They’re not just using our data to sell us more stuff. As the Cambridge Analytica and 2016 election taught us, they may be influencing the way in which we elect our government. This is why we feel Trustwire’s mission is so essential.

How Trustwire is Different

In the world of surveillance, where your data becomes the property of other’s agendas, we are committed to protecting your privacy. This is why we encrypt your messages, files, and photos. In fact, no one who works at Trustwire has access to any of your content or pattern of access.

This means that you are in complete and total control of your privacy. We think this should be the industry standard. Learn more about how we can help you protect your privacy online. 

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