SAN ANTONIO – A mobile application that’s giving people a glimpse into their future self may also be compromising users' private information.
- FaceApp, launched in 2017
- New feature lets users age their picture
- Experts raising privacy concerns
FaceApp launched in 2017.
Most recently the application went viral again after its newest picture filter began allowing users to morph into an older version of themselves. According to developers, millions of people already use the app, but with its sudden rebirth in popularity more people are expected to download it.
Experts are raising privacy concerns when downloading a new app.
“One of the things I recommend before you even decide to download an app is to look at the terms and conditions. This is one thing people are really overwhelmed with, it can be really long. I just recommend looking at what information is being collected about you,” said Judy Titera, a chief privacy officer at USAA.
FaceApp is made by a Russian company called Wireless Lab, which for some users online is unsettling. Although there is no evidence that developers are doing anything questionable, terms in the private policy suggest it might be accessing more information about the user than they originally think.
The policy states the app collects photos including metadata. It also claims to store personal information such as an email address – all information they can share with their selected third party affiliates. Titera said if you do download an app you are unsure about, there are privacy settings on your phone to customize what developers receive.
However if there is fear over something worse, experts say it may be best to reconsider downloading it at all.
"I would recommend if you're not comfortable with what you're seeing in those terms and conditions, if you’re not sure how it's being used, if its collecting information that you’re not comfortable with then make those decisions," she said.