If you’ve spent any time on the internet over the last week, you will have seen FaceApp’s old age filter transforming everyone from your best friend to your favorite celebrities into grayer versions of themselves. A new report from Forbes however, suggests that uploading your pictures to the viral app isn’t as harmless as it might first appear.
The Russia-based app has been downloaded by 100 million people on Google Play. It’s also the top-ranked iOS App Store app in 121 countries. Forbes says it owns access to over 150 million different people’s faces and names. And according to the company’s terms and conditions, it can do whatever the hell it wants with them.
When you upload your photograph to FaceApp, you are permitting it “perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use.” It can reproduce, modify, distribute, and display your content, username, and likeness without crediting you or paying you a cent.
What this could mean, according to PhoneArena’s Peter Kostadinov, is that “you might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.”
What’s more, as Rackspace manager Rob La Gesse clarifies, “To make FaceApp actually work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos — ALL of them. But it also gains access to Siri and Search. Oh, and it has access to refreshing in the background. So even when you are not using it, it is using you.”