FaceApp is a popular App that seems to have gone Viral - mainly because of one feature. The feature that shows what you may look like when you're older. Sounds great, right? Well, not really when you find out what people have suspected the App of doing. Many people are concerned about the way FaceApp is handling users data.
Well, if they keep your images, is it against their own policy? Their terms of service give them a license to use data (photos and other information) uploaded by users for commercial purposes. This includes peoples names, likenesses and voices. It also states that FaceApp can continue to store data even after it's deleted from the app. Answering this, the company said that data could be held onto because of "certain legal obligations."
Another issue that FaceApp users have noticed is on the iOS platform. The app can still access photos even when you have blocked it from doing so! This is actually allowed in iOS 11. Users have the power to block the app from their full camera roll but they can select individual photos to upload if they want to.
When requested to respond to these issues and queries, FaceApp did not respond immediately.
First, they start off with the fact that they "perform most of the photo processing in the cloud." They also state that they only upload the picture selected by the user and never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud. As stated to TechCrunch.
Next, they explain why they might store an uploaded image in the cloud. They stated, "The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation." Most images are deleted from their servers after 48 hours of the upload. This is similar to what they said to The Verge in 2017.
For people that do not want the company storing their data, you can request FaceApp to delete users photos and data. The company has now started accepting requests to delete all photos and data from their servers. They also explained that their support team is overloaded at the moment but the requests are a priority. They recommended sending requests by using “Settings->Support->Report a bug” with the word “privacy” in the subject line. Thankfully, they have said that they're working on a better user interface for it.
As the features of the app are available without logging in, a large majority don't. Because of this, FaceApp has said that they "don’t have access to any data that could identify a person." They then said that they don't share or sell information with any third parties. Following this, they said that even though they are based in Russia, user data is not transferred there.
To finish their statement, they commented on a common concern. About how all pictures from someone's gallery may be uploaded to their servers. They said they don't upload them all, but just the one photo selected for editing. "You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet."