Aah, what a week this has been. Looking at how your friends and families will look 30-40 years from now. Honestly, no one will look as good as they are looking in these FaceApp photos, no one ages so gracefully. But it has been un nonetheless. Flooding WhatsApp groups with photos, commenting on who looks better, talking about how your cousin looks exactly like their father or mother. It’s been fun and games – but once you read the user agreement that you have agreed to without as much as batting an eyelid or even reading the first sentence, you will being to think if this really is all fun and games.
First things first, FaceApp is not a new app, it keeps returning every few years when it suddenly becomes viral because of a new feature. It basically shows how you would look if you were younger, older, a different gender yada yada yada. The basic version of the app is free, but it is the user agreement where you might be paying a lot more.
So what is the app allowed to and not allowed to do, with the photo you upload?
The app’s Terms and Service agreement you clicked “agree” on without reading gives FaceApp — “a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, creative 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.”
Umm yes, the above is quoted directly from the agreement.
Basically, it gives the company ownership rights on your photo. It allows them to give it to anyone they want to, do whatever they want to, use it however they want to, from now up until forever.
But what could they really and practically do with your photo?
Most likely, it might be used for digital experiments. For eg. popular photo storage app Ever was caught using photos to help train software sold to law enforcement agencies. IBM was caught in a similar scandal, using Flickr photos to train digital facial recognition software without users’ knowledge.
FaceApp isn’t the first or the last one to be doing this, but their vitality makes the situation very notable. Tech companies can store the information, not even knowing currently what they want to do with. The important thing is to get access now and see what opportunities come up later. Even then, it makes for a strong case to think twice before you give them access to your photo.