If you, like a shockingly large number of celebrities, recently downloaded FaceApp to predict what you’ll look like in old age, you may be unsettled to learn what you agreed to in the app’s terms and conditions.
After the app went viral this week, some noticed the legal document is worryingly vague. It gives the app permission to use your likeness, name and username, for any purpose, without your consent, forever, even if you delete it.
If you use #FaceApp you are giving them a license to use your photos, your name, your username, and your likeness for any purpose including commercial purposes (like on a billboard or internet ad) -- see their Terms: https://t.co/e0sTgzowoNpic.twitter.com/XzYxRdXZ9q— Elizabeth Potts Weinstein (@ElizabethPW) July 17, 2019
(This is the second time FaceApp has gone viral. Its first brush with fame, back in 2017, was boosted by outrage over filters that changed your ethnicity.)
FaceApp isn’t unique here. Many apps use similarly vague ― and frighteningly far-reaching ― boilerplate language in their terms and conditions. This should concern you about all apps, not just FaceApp.
You’ve agreed to similar terms if you use Twitter, for example:
While we're all dragging FaceApp for taking our photos as their own, probably worth rereading Twitter's Terms of Service: pic.twitter.com/OJ0p9SLc4A— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) July 17, 2019
But because FaceApp is the handiwork of developers in Russia, there’s an added bit of handwringing. Backed by those terms and conditions, some speculate the app could conceivably help build a database of photorealistic avatars that, when paired with bots, could result in a far more convincing fake profile on social media.
FaceApp founder Yaroslav Goncharov told HuffPost in an emailed statement it’s doing no such thing.
“We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties,” he said. “Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to...