FaceApp has now passed 150 million users. This are the three main risks of using the app.
FaceApp is developed and published by Wireless Lab, a company with headquarters in St. Petersburg, Russia. Even if Wireless Lab it’s based in Russia, company founder Yaroslav Goncharov told Forbes that all the app’s storage and cloud resources are in the US and that the data collected by the app is hosted in the US, not Russia.
Still, this are the three main risks you face when you are using FaceApp:
Risk 1: Terms and Conditions
Experts say that FaceApp’s set of terms are among the worst in the industry, for example:
– you assign FaceApp irrevocable global rights to use your images or data as it sees fit without any need to compensate or inform you.
– FaceApp can continue to hold your images and data even after you have requested your information be deleted.
– The company reserves the right to share the data with any third party it chooses without any need to inform you.
– It reserves the right to host the data in any country it chooses.
Risk 2: App it’s exploiting the international legal regulations around data privacy
It’s not just the terms and conditions that are problematic. Wireless Lab is operating in a country that has very different legal processes and privacy legislation than the US, and this should be a significant red flag. Meaning if it does something you don’t like, you likely have very little or no legal recourse.
Remember everything can be hacked. In order to stay away from any threats related to the cyber world, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running. If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests;
Risk 3: All of FaceApp’s data access
– Your photos and contextual personal information.
– Your phone information (browser, serial number, IP address, configuration information, some location information).
– The OS on your phone, social media accounts and apps.
– Cookies, sign-in tokens, and any authentication information you share with it.
– If the app is downloaded on Android, it can access your call history, contacts, logs, more-detailed location information, messages, and more.
Risk 4: FaceApp does send some data to Russia
Records indicate that one of the hosts the app communicates with is, in fact, in Russia. For the moment it’s not clear what data is being sent to this Russian host.
Conclusion: Just remember if you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.
We would continue to monitor this cybersecurity problem. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber-attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.