Is FaceApp’s Data Collection Any Worse Than Facebook’s?

If you’re worried about the data you’re giving FaceApp, there’s a lot more you should think about

Dave Gershgorn
OneZero
Published in
4 min readJul 17, 2019

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Credit: FaceApp

LLast night, I learned that I am going to be a disgusting, decrepit old man. My beard will be gray, my cheeks will puff out, and my nose will get redder and more bulbous. At least, according to FaceApp.

Like many others online, including Gordon Ramsay, I recently downloaded and used FaceApp, which uses artificial intelligence to alter the appearance of someone in a photograph. It can make you look older or younger (if you don’t have a beard like me), or change your hairstyle or add makeup.

An old writer sits at his desk, looking into the camera.
The author, aged

Amid the sudden popularity of FaceApp, some online are raising concerns about the privacy implications of the company’s retention of user data. Wireless Lab, the Russian company that runs FaceApp, retains the ability to use your photos, name, and likeness for any purpose, according to its terms of service. The company is also headquartered in Russia, where tech companies are expected to acquiesce to government demands. Some observers were concerned that the application would upload a…

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Dave Gershgorn
OneZero

Senior Writer at OneZero covering surveillance, facial recognition, DIY tech, and artificial intelligence. Previously: Qz, PopSci, and NYTimes.