Viral App FaceApp now owns more than 150 million people’s faces and names


You may have seen the computer generated pictures of your friends posting pictures of themselves look old. Well, that App is FaceApp and it’s been a quick hit, picked up by celebrities and the rest of us alike to get a peek at what father time will do to them.

The viral FaceApp has been giving people the power to change their facial expressions, looks, and now age for several years. What may not be as obvious is that everyone who uses or has used the App has been giving FaceApp the power to use their pictures and names for anything the company wants, for as long as it wants.

According to App Annie, the industry standard analytics company for App tracking, over 100 million people have downloaded the app from Google Play and FaceApp is now the top-ranked app on the iOS App Store in 121 countries. According to FaceApp’s terms of service people still own their own “user content” but the company owns a never-ending and irrevocable royalty-free license to do anything they want with it. Feel like being a lawyer? Here’s the specific text from FaceApps’s terms of use:

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. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

That may not sound dangerous and your likeness may stay on Amazon servers in America, but they still own a license to do whatever they want with it. That doesn’t mean the app’s Russian parent company, Wireless Labs, will offer your face to the FSB, but who knows exactly what the future holds for your wrinkled old face? As I’m sure you are aware, is that the data collected by Apps or even the big boys (such as Facebook) is not always used for the purposes that we might assume. Also the data collected on you is not always stored securely, safely or privately.

The Takeaway

To make FaceApp work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos – ALL OF THEM. It also gets access to Siri, Search and refreshing in the background. So, even though you may not be using the app, just by having it installed, it’s using you. Does that sound nefarious or what? Best stay clear of FaceApp or uninstall it from your phone right now.

Stay safe out there.