From the moment the FaceApp appeared in the App stores for download, the entire world instantly rushed to try it out. What was the fuss over it? Well, as you probably already know, the FaceApp has an old age filter that makes you look old. And why is that so important? Because all of us secretly want to know how we would age – would we still be good looking as we are today or not. Many of the celebrities and famous people were not immune to this app too, and they also rushed to try it out and post the results on their social accounts.
FaceApp is an application that is available for both the users of iOS and Android devices. It was developed by a Russian company called Wireless Lab. This company with a team of developers from Saint Petersburg designed the app that using the neural networks of a photo, makes a suggestion of how you will look like when you are old. This includes wrinkles, baldness as well as the condition of the skin. The application has seen unbelievable popularity among the celebrities as well as the ordinary people too.
Robert Downey, Jr.
In a recent interview for one online magazine, one of the developers from the FaceApp support team explained the entire process of creating the app. She explained that the AI technology that is used in the filters requires advanced calculations on a server. That is what makes it impossible to edit a photo on a smartphone. The photo or the image that was not edited with their filters will not be sent to the servers of their app and will remain stored on the device. From the company’s side, they only state that they do not have nor request access to email addresses, device model, storage cloud or any accounts that the cellphone is connected to.
The pictures that are being edited and send to them are automatically deleted from their side in the following 48 hours. So that is the longest period that they are in the possession of the company. They do not have permission nor store the images sent to them, that are in fact being uploaded by the users. Sharing and sending the photos is entirely anonymous and encrypted. The users do not have to fear that their photos will be misused by company’s side. There is no way that the company can identify the person sending the photo, nor the device that it is sent from based on the sent picture.
None of the photos are used in the personal advertising campaigns of the company nor in any related or non-related public cases. No one is seeing the picture that the user is sending through the app. Their processing is being done only by computers and no person employed in the company can see them.
The FaceApp is not new. In fact, it has been present for around 2 years, but it was just lately that it became extremely popular among the celebrities. When it was launched, the app was being labeled as racist and this was due to the filters that can change the race and a filter named “hot” that could lighten the person’s skin tone.
Now, as the app has seen a mega popularity, new controversies are following. This time, they are all about the app itself and the creators behind it. What was especially buzzing around the social media were the speculations that the creators of the app had ties to the Russian Government. So, it was believed that the Russians were steeling the personal phone data of the users and creating a secret and massive database. This database would have been filled with faces and used for surveillance. Of course, it was denied and rejected as nothing similar to that.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
All the speculations fell in water. The app really is made by a Russian company, but that should not mean that it is a spy app and that everything is one big theory of conspiracy. Nor that should mean that the developers of the application are spies. The panic presented among the users also referred to that the app might roll and work in the background and upload everything they possess on the phone. That also was not true at all. As mentioned before, the app only uploads the photos that you choose and decide to edit.
What was also a subject of concern for the users was that FaceApp indeed keeps a copy of a photo – the same photo that you decide to edit and put the filter on. The explanation behind this is that the application edits them on servers with quite complex algorithms that cannot be installed on personal phones. The data that is exchanged with the app is no greater than data exchanged with any other app which means that the risk of its misuse is not higher than from any other application. So, there is no reason for panic.
All the processing of the photo editing of the app are done in the cloud. The steps include uploading of a photo that is selected by the user for editing. The company never transfers any other images from the phones’ gallery to the app’s cloud. All of these issues that might be concerning to the users have been clearly stated in a statement that has been issued by the company. They also explained that they might store an uploaded photo to their cloud and the only reason for that is the performance and the traffic.
This connects to ensuring that the user doesn’t upload the same photo for every editing operation. Most of the images are deleted from the company’s servers within 48 hours from the upload moment or date. Adding to the statement, they clarified the all the features from the app are available to users without logging in. The only log in requirement comes from the setting screen. Because of that feature, almost 99% of the users do not log in and therefore, the company does not have any information or access on identifying the person. The data that is input is not being sold to third parties. Even though the company’s research and development team is located in Russia, no user data is ever transferred to Russia.
So, if you have not tried the app still, don’t be afraid and upload a photo. You actually might be surprised how good you will age.