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FaceApp takes social media by storm despite privacy concerns

BusinessToday.In     July 17, 2019

Interested to know how you'll look when you are 80? There is an app that promises to show you the future. Launched in 2017, the FaceApp is back in focus after it fine-tuned its AI engine. The app has become better at showing how users will look when they age. The apps 'old' filter has taken the social media by storm.

The app, developed by a Russian company called Wireless Lab, uses Artificial intelligence to add filters to your photos. Other than age filter, the FaceApp can be used to add beards, hair colours, and swap genders among other transformations. The app makes use of the neural engine to edit selfies for various filters. The app is witnessing a lot of interest on social media and several celebrities have joined the ongoing #FaceAppChallenge. The challenge involves people using the app to augment their or someone else's faces by a couple of decades. Twitter is replete with pictures of celebrities like MS Dhoni, Kohli and even SRK.

It is all fun and games at the moment on the social media, however, there is a darker side too. The terms of service of FaceApp has revealed that the app, other than capturing user's face also acquires private user data. The app's terms of use state that FaceApp users grant it a "royalty-free, worldwide" ability to "use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute and display" photos and other materials. The company policy also states that it can share certain information with unidentified businesses that are or may become its "affiliates". FaceApp shares the cookie data with the third-party advertisers to "deliver targeted advertisements" and "other things."

Even in 2017, FaceApp was deemed controversial after it was noted that the app lightened people's skin tone and The Washington Post had stated that the apps privacy policy was "creeping people out."

The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. iPhone users can download the app and use it free for three days after which you'll have to pay for the app. In India, the app's price is Rs 3,099 per year.

Edited By: Udit Verma

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