FaceApp: the controversy about a too popular app.

The FaceApp phenomenon has been flooding the social networks since a certain time now.

Challenge addicts has joyfully started giving themselves to the use of this app. However, this app seems to be for its company a means of illegal data collections.

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What is FaceApp?

FaceApp lets the users see what their face will look like when they will get older. There is an impressive result. The app also involves many filters able not only to turn you into a girl or boy, but also add on your picture many other things. To use it, you only need to pick up an image from your snapshot library and apply a filter on it. Then, you have the choice to whether save the result or share it. This is the fashionable app. Propelled by celebrities, Faceapp lets you visualise yourself in your old age.

For this, FaceApp only needs full access to the photos you agree to send it. That is indeed present in the CGU of FaceApp: once a snapshot is sent to the app, this latter can reuse it to produce an indefinite number of results. At first glance, the app seems to have conditions of use similar to the other photo apps. Although the application is remunerated with a pro version subscription to about $19 per year, the collected pictures can be used for commercial purposes.

However, for a while now, FaceApp is at the center of controverses about illegal  massive data collections. In fact, the app is accused of stealing users’photos for unreliable purposes.

This point of view has been checked buy several information sites and experts. The result is that FaceApp has not got less privaces than other photo apps, they are all the same. FaceApp only uploads the photos you select on its servers with your consent and does not have any direct access to the snapshots of your mobile library.

Interviewed by BBC News, Gontcharov boss of the firm that made the app, argued that FaceApp does not resell the data it collects for commercial purposes. The application is free, so the firm would make profit only through the premium subscription it offers, according to him.

Further wondering was about what the photos collected by the company’s data servers will be used for. As a member of the firm, the publisher Wireless Lab OOO, based in (Russia), explains that once uploaded, the photos processed by its filters could be after reused without the users’ agreement as stated in the conditions of use. As for Le Figaro, these conditions of use are not in conformity with the European rules about computer usage and people privacies.

Face to this accusations, the firm explained to the site that most of the collected images are removed from its servers within the following 48 hours and add that it is even possible for a user to request directly the deletion of his data to the support team via a form. For thinkers, this arguments are contradictory to the operational time the FaceApp’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) requires for the data treatment necessary to the improvement of the app. Then, it seems obvious that the collected data remain much longer on the servers that the company does not say.