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What is FaceApp? - A Parent's Guide

A photo-editor app powered by AI

FaceApp is a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to alter your face in photos. The free features include adding a smile, changing your hairstyle and making yourself look older or younger. It has been a popular photo editing app for years but has hit the headline in recent weeks fuelled by its use by celebrities such as the Jonas Brothers and Drake. It's in the top spot on the iTunes chart despite concerns over privacy.

How does it's aging filter work?

Once you have downloaded the app you can then take a photo or upload one from your library of yourself or whoever you want to edit. You can then select "age" and then "old" and wait for the photo to process - it usually only takes a few seconds . As well as being able to 'age' your face or make yourself look younger, another popular feature on the app allows you to alter a female face to display male features and vice-versa.

Privacy Concerns

FaceApp's terms of service have sparked controversy regarding the safety and privacy of its users. The concerns arose over claims that FaceApp was accessing, collecting and storing user data on its cloud service. In their lengthy T&C's document, the company informs users that:

"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. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public."

However, in a statement released by the company, FaceApp insists that only photos selected by the user for editing are uploaded to the cloud, and that most of these images are deleted from the servers within 48 hours of the upload. Though based in Russia, the company states that most of the data is processed in the US, Singapore, and Ireland.