Will Politicians Fall Victim to the Dangers of FaceApp?
Many folks in Central New York and beyond have been having a blast with the new FaceApp feature on their phones--the one that takes your selfies and turns them into hilarious photos of you as an old-timer.
Some experts think using the app may be a bad idea, especially for public figures, like politicians. The Democratic National Committee has issued a warning to any campaigners seeking office in 2020, according to a report by CNN: Beware FaceApp. With good cause. Entertainers like the Jonas Brothers and the hosts of The Today Show on NBC, and athletes from the NBA and NFL have been posting their funny FaceApp pics. If politicians did the same, could it come back to hurt them?
The app owned by a Russian company named Wireless Lab, based in St. Petersburg, has some alarming terms and conditions in its fine print. British digital strategist James Whatley enumerated those on Twitter:
You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable… royalty-free… license to use, adapt, publish, distribute your user content… in all media formats...
That means that the photos you upload into the app might seem private and harmless, but could later be used in harmful public ways, such as negative advertising and viral marketing--maybe even to sway an election.
Is Wireless Labs storing your FaceApp photos (and those of celebrities who have already used the app) for future use of which you MIGHT NOT approve? Maybe not. After all, the kinds of terms and conditions used by FaceApp are fairly common. But the recent practices by Facebook and other developers have certainly given us cause to consider the ramifications of granting third parties access to our private information.