Saying No To Faceapp Is Common Sense. Why Are We Saying Yes?
I woke up, poured some coffee and, as I often do each morning, checked Twitter. There, among the headlines, were faces. Old faces, young faces, weird faces. Altered faces of friends, colleagues and strangers, all of them using. God forbid we miss out on any of those.
"Why on earth are you still tweeting FaceApp pics?" I asked one of them. This person, a tech writer I think highly of, explained that some of the people they like the most who cover questions of future surveillance seemed to think thatare overblown.
"We may also share certain information such as cookie data with third-party advertising partners," the policy reads. "This information would allow third-party ad networks to, among other things, deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you."
Targeted ads aren't anything new, of course -- and Check Point Research, tells CNET that he didn't find anything out of the ordinary when he took a closer look at how FaceApp works., which has been around for two years now. Aviran Hazum, head of Analysis and Response at the security research firm
"This app seems to be developed in a good fashion," Hazum writes. "No greedy permissions, and it does what they claim it does."
But now,, with millions of people downloading it in order to participate in an internet craze. And it's hard to blame them -- the tech is scarily good. Who wouldn't want to see and share a stunning representation of what they might look like in 30 years?
I know I was tempted. After all, ads are already targeted at me every day because of products and services I already willingly use. What's the harm in a few more of those ads if I'm getting to try out some cutting-edge tech in the process?
"You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you."
A reminder that terms like these. They're written to cover potential legal liabilities while sharing as little as possible about what a company is actually doing with your data -- and I'd add that you can find similar catchalls in the terms and conditions for apps and services like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. You click accept without reading, and the company can say, "it's not our fault, you were warned."
And in this case, we were. We've known thatfor some time now. We know that and that can be used to create stunningly realistic videos of a person using nothing more than .
"Privacy invasions often sneak in through 'fun' disguises," CNET cybersecurity and privacy reporter Alfred Ng tells me, pointing out that Cambridge Analytica got all the data it needed . "It's important for people not to fall for these traps. It's like Hansel and Gretel and the candy house."
We also know that FaceApp is a Russian company, and that Republicans say that FaceApp is a cause for concern . I don't advocate hysteria, and I don't think that anyone should automatically assume that an app or service is nefarious simply because it's based out of Moscow -- but I do support skepticism. Perhaps we ought to take heed.. Prominent and