Is FaceApp violating my privacy and data?
Because FaceApp has become so popular, many people have decided to check out its terms of service. Officially, the terms state that the company behind FaceApp has the rights to use any photo altered by the app for commercial purposes. Also, any user data it collects can still be stored on the company’s servers, even if you decide to delete the app from your phone. If you want to completely delete your data, you can go into the app and ask the company to do so, but it’s not exactly an easy process.
There are also concerns the company behind the app is based in Russia, and the user data could be sold to the Russian government. That possibility caused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to send a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Senator Schumer asked the agencies to look into FaceApp, stating that he had fears about “how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including foreign governments.”
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) experienced an attack on its computer network in 2015 and 2016, and the U.S. government believes Russian intelligence forces were behind those attacks. Because of this, CNN reported the DNC has requested all of its 2020 election campaigns to not use FaceApp.
Should you download FaceApp?
You should read the terms of service before you download any app onto your smartphone. Officially, FaceApp says it does not sell the data or photo info the app collects to anyone, including the Russian government. However, it’s certainly understandable the U.S. Democratic Party might have reasons to doubt that in light of what has happened over the past few years. Keep in mind that the app has also been available for over two years before its sudden burst in popularity, and there have been no indications of any security risks.
Ultimately, the decision is yours whether or not to download FaceApp. While there have been some privacy concerns, it appears FaceApp doesn’t offer any increased risks compared to similar AI-based photo editing app. On the other hand, using any kind of app that logs onto a remote server and access and stores your data can possibly result in that information being taken by outside forces like cybercriminals. The choice is yours.
For its part, a spokesperson for FaceApp told TechCrunch that it doesn’t sell or share user data with third parties and doesn’t transfer user data to Russia. It also stated the company deletes images from its servers within 48 hours from when they were uploaded, and it doesn’t transfer images other than those you select for editing. Finally, FaceApp uses U.S.-based companies AWS and Google Cloud for its cloud storage and processing.
From our research, it is evident that TikTok is not safe for children. There are serious privacy and safety concerns for children using TikTok. The most effective way to protect your children from the dangers of this app is to either heavily restrict it, or block it completely.
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