FaceApp addresses privacy theories

Using FaceApp to see what you’d look like as an elderly person is a lark and a half until you delve into conspiracy theories that might lead you to believe that these yucks are primarily out to benefit shady facial recognition tech, or that the company behind the app – whose R&D team is Russia-based – might just have access to all your photos forever, but for those who are concerned that it’s only a matter of time before they see their face become the avi of a pro-Trump bot on Twitter, FaceApp want to assure you that it’s not going to happen.

In a statement released this week after angry and uncertain responses to the ‘it me, but old lol’ phenomenon grew, FaceApp had this to say:

“We are receiving a lot of inquiries regarding our privacy policy and therefore, would like to provide a few points that explain the basics:

1. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.

2. We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.

3. We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority. For the fastest processing, we recommend sending the requests from the FaceApp mobile app using “Settings->Support->Report a bug” with the word “privacy” in the subject line. We are working on the better UI for that.

4. All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99% of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person.

5. We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.

6. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.

Additionally, we’d like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all pictures from the gallery are uploaded to our servers after a user grants access to the photos. We don’t do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet.”

Following this statement, it’s likely that the company will still have to answer more questions going forward.

Wireframe #18 is out now.

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