FaceApp is fun but dubious terms of service raises serious privacy questions
FaceApp’s terms of service reveals the company has full royalty-free rights to ‘user data’. Here’s what it means.
AI photo editing app, FaceApp resurrected in the past week. Everyone's social media feed is now filled with people posting photos of how they would look when they turn old. While FaceApp is all the rage right now you may be giving the company access to a lot more than you think.
FaceApp had a surge in downloads starting slowly on July 12 and getting a big push from July 13 according to Sensor Tower. In India, FaceApp was down for a few hours late last night but the app is now accessible. To use FaceApp, one needs to give permission access to their photos. While this seems understandable, FaceApp can do much more with your photos then just edit them.
First spotted by Forbes, FaceApp has some dubious terms of service which is detailed on the company's website. The most striking thing about FaceApp's terms of service is that the company has rights to use "user content" for commercial purposes.
"You 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 and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you," reads FaceApp's terms.
FaceApp clearly states that it can use your photos and information shared on the app for commercial purposes without any royalties. While it's totally up to the user to do as they like with their FaceApp photos, it also raises security questions, especially since FaceApp is storing user data.
Ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there has been continuous scrutiny over sharing user data with services. Facebook's 10 year challenge which became viral globally was also suspected to be a major data collecting scheme. Nothing has been proved as yet, but it's definite that users are still not aware about how companies have access to data. FaceApp has now been downloaded by over 100 million users on Android, and it also became the top-ranked app on iOS.