The app that makes you old is the latest summer fashion. How was it born, how does it work and above all how does FaceApp use your data?
In 2019, the summer hits are not just musical. The new trend of the digital age is known as FaceApp. Its success is an important phenomenon. Unlike the usual song that runs on the radio for a season, this application is the latest viral fad that in a few days has reached thousands of users around the world. Surely you will have noticed an exaggerated number of photos of your friends on social media, whose faces were extremely old. This is, in fact, the result of FaceApp, which is a new challenge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Rise of FaceApp
The FaceApp case can be easily associated, given the magnitude of the viral hit, to giants like Facebook or Instagram. Surprisingly, searching for the roots of the application, we reach Russian territory. FaceApp was born in January 2017 in Wireless Lab, a Russian company based in St. Petersburg. Yaroslav Goncharov is the man responsible for the creation of this app. If the app had already had some success just after launch, the latest updates have actually made the changes even more realistic than those of previous versions.
This is all about artificial intelligence. AI allows obtaining an aged version of the face shown in the photo. Millions of people are sharing their old age photos, so much so that the hashtag #FaceAppChallenge has become viral. National and international celebrities are also using it. Leonardo Di Caprio, Tommaso Paradiso, Gigi Buffon, Silvio Berlusconi and many other characters, famous or not, have responded to the challenge by publishing their faces treated with the aging effect.
How does it work?
FaceApp is available for free, both on phones with the iOS operating system and on those with Android. FaceApp is one top of the ranking of the most downloaded ones in different countries of the world. After installing it, its operation is quite intuitive: just take a picture or choose it from those in your image gallery and, with a couple of taps on the display, you can change the face. There are many filters that you can use, the change of age is in fact only one of the many possibilities offered by the application, which ranges from the change of hairstyle to that of sex. Many other effects to apply to the photos are available in the paid version of FaceApp. And the rates are 3.99 euros if you choose a monthly subscription, 19.99 euros for the annual one, and 43.99 euros forever.
Privacy and Use of Personal Data
The fundamental principle underlying FaceApp, as mentioned, is a series of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Yaroslav Goncharov stated that “We have developed a new technology that uses neural networks to realistically change the face in photos. Our main element of differentiation is photorealism. After applying a filter, it’s still your photo. More Apps intentionally change an image in a fun way, but do not return the real picture”
Each time the face is processed, the app could potentially store every shot in the servers of the Russian company.
The section of the app dedicated to the use of information reads:
“The application could share user content and information with companies that are part of the FaceApp group of companies.”
At the moment this application is not involved in computer scandals regarding the use of personal data. However, it is always advisable to keep these dynamics in mind when choosing to download and use it.
Considering this potential threat to your data security, we advise you to always use VPNshazam when using this application. This way you can fully take advantage of this viral trend while protecting your data.
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