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Experts Urging Caution To Those Using Russia-based FaceApp

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – FaceApp is making a reappearance online as people share photos of themselves as older, younger and the opposite gender, among other options.

Even KSL TV’s morning crew took advantage of the old-age feature to see what they’d look like in the years to come.

Some are warning against using the app, though, pointing to the terms of agreement, which gives the app developers license to use your photos, name, username and likeness — for any purpose.

“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,” according to the user agreement.

It goes on to state that “… By using the Services, you agree that the User Content may be used for commercial purposes.”

Attorney Elizabeth Potts Weinstein points out users’ images could be used on a billboard or internet ad.


Potts Weinstein also notes that the developer’s address listed in the terms is in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“Their Privacy Policy is not remotely GDPR compliant,” she tweeted. “It says that your data can be transferred to any location where they have a facility … which means Russia.”


According to a USA TODAY article, experts are telling app users they should be concerned about the type of access they’re giving to FaceApp. One cybersecurity researcher specifically cautioned those working in government or military jobs:

Tech firms based outside the U.S. are “subject to different standards or governance for data handling,” (CyberInt Technologies cybersecurity researcher Jason) Hill said. “Whilst many individuals may not be concerned by this, users working in government, military or sensitive roles may want to consider the ramifications of potentially exposing their personal data to foreign entities.”

In 2017, FaceApp was criticized for a filter it labeled “hot,” which lightened the skin of black people to make them appear more European. Later that year, it faced more backlash when it introduced ethnicity filters, which let a person change their face to appear white, black, Asian or Indian.

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