Local Computer Security Experts Warn Against Use of that 'FaceApp' Program

On Facebook, what's old is new again, but it comes with privacy concerns, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports

The latest social media fad is sharing pictures made with a smartphone app called FaceApp. It uses artificial intelligence to alter your face, and make it look a few decades older. But the fact that photos are uploaded to a cloud, and the developer is Russian, has created concerns about privacy.

Cyber security expert Bret Piatt, who heads San Antonio-based Jungle Disk, says you should be worried anytime your allow access to your data

"Who are we sharing our data with and what rights are we giving them, with that data, when we choose to share it with them?"

FaceApp first rose to fame in 2017, but gained popularity again this month, thanks to the #faceappchallenge posts which were all over Facebook this week, thanks to celebrities and influencers

The fascination, though, quickly came with concerns when it was revealed that that developer was based in Russia and, in addition to the photo, the app also logged details about location and browsing history. Elliot Alderson, who is a security researchers, told Forbes that he downloaded the app and found was that it only took submitted photos back up to a company server in the United States.

It's unclear what the Russian developer, though, will do with all this information.

Piatt says, for those who have already downloaded FaceApp and played around with it, there's not much you can do.

"If you've already put it out there, it's hard to put Pandora back in that box."

But he says the debate over FaceApp is a good lesson on staying safe on the internet. He hopes people will start reading user agreements, so they can make an informed decision about whether they want to share their data.

IMAGE: GETTY

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