By now you’ve probably seen plenty of old versions of your friends’ faces pop up on social media. FaceApp is so popular that in just a few days the app has managed to collect the faces of more than 150 million people from around the world!
Why are people so eager to snap and upload that selfie? Well, it’s fun and interesting to see these scarily accurate “future” faces. And Canadians still presume that laws and technological checks and balances are in place to protect their data.
Really, though, it’s the Wild West on the internet, and once you surrender your information, you can't get it back.
Here are our top 5 reasons to skip FaceApp:
1) Your face is a biometric
What are biometrics? It’s physical data that’s unique to you and used to identify you, such as your fingerprints, retina or iris scans, gait recognition (the way you walk), or voice recognition.
Increasingly, we use our face to unlock our phones, to access services, we’re tracked by our faces through airport and other surveillance systems – and the potential for the loss or abuse of your biometric data is huge.
2) The app is based in Russia
The data is stored on Russian servers and is subject to Russian laws. This means Russian state intelligence agencies could gather this info. Remember when they tried to access Tinder users’ data? With FaceApp, users have already agreed to that data collection simply by creating an account and uploading a photo.
3) They’re capturing your web browsing history
Everything you search for, every website you visit, is viewable to FaceApp, until you uninstall the app. Yikes!
4) Not to mention your location
That location data can be used to pinpoint your whereabouts and target you with hyper-specific ads...and to gain insight into demographic trends for who knows what purpose.
5) Your data could be stored indefinitely and used for reasons you can’t predict
For example, this amazingly diverse data set could be used to train mass surveillance systems. It sounds far-fetched, but photos uploaded to Flickr and social media sites have already been scarfed up and used to teach A.I.s without people’s consent.
Why should FaceApp be any different?
If you’ve already downloaded the app, you should uninstall it ASAP, and make sure that you always read the terms of service before hopping on board with the newest trend. Remember that when you don’t pay for an app or service, you’re not the customer – you're the product.
The onus is on the individual to protect sensitive information.
To learn more about protecting your identity at home or at work, contact the Beauceron Security Team @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-516-9245.