If you’ve been seeing your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds filled with photos of friends and family members that seemingly aged overnight, you’re not alone.
In recent days, there’s been a resurgence of interest in FaceApp, the popular photo app that uses artificial intelligence to apply filters that can make you look older or younger, or swap your gender, in addition to other effects. The app launched in 2017, but it has been flooding social-media feeds everywhere over the past several days. Celebrities from the rapper Drake to the famous chef Gordon Ramsay and the pop group the Jonas Brothers have been using the app to see how they might age.
But there are a few things you should keep in mind before you start uploading your photos. The app’s terms give FaceApp, which is based in Russia, the freedom to use user content however the company wishes. There has also been some concern over how the app accesses a user’s photo library even if that person doesn’t give the app permission to do so. But TechCrunch reported that Apple offers tool developers can build into their apps that let users choose one photo from their library to upload without giving that app access to the entire library.
If you do want to try using FaceApp to see how you’ll age, you can do so by following the steps below.
- Download the FaceApp app from the App Store or Google Play and decline the offer to subscribe to the app when opening it.
- Take a photo of yourself or choose a photo from your image library. Tapping the “Photos” button at the bottom will let you choose a photo from your camera roll without giving the app access to your entire photo library.
- Scroll over to the “Age” filter at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose “Old” and wait for the photo to process.
- You can also use demo photos provided by the app or choose images of celebrities by tapping the button near the bottom of the app.
Is FaceApp Safe?
Lots have been said about the privacy concern of the FaceApp saying it keeps the pictures of the users. According to TechCrunch FaceApp provided a statement to clarify its policy amid the privacy concerns. Though the terms of service suggest that data can still be transferred to the Russian development team, the company says user data remains on the server-side. FaceApp says photos stored on the server are kept to make the editing process more efficient for its users and that the photos are usually deleted within two days.
The company said it also accepted user requests to remove all personal data from their servers. However, FaceApp said the support team was backlogged with those requests. FaceApp also says 99% of users choose not to log in, so they don’t have much in the way of identifying information.
So far, security experts at Google and Apple have not detected any unusual practices with the current version of FaceApp, but as with all apps, users should be mindful of their lack of control when sharing photos and other personal data.