FaceApp is once again a viral sensation.

You may remember, back in 2017, the app was famous for turning people into the opposite gender. Now, people have caught on to the aging feature on the app – which allows you to see what you might look like when you get older.

Old lady Stephanie Whitfield
Old lady Stephanie Whitfield
KHOU

But how safe is this app, and are your photos protected?

The New York Post ran the headline "Russians now own all your old photos" on Wednesday morning, citing concerns about the Terms and Conditions you agree to when you use the Russian-made app to your phone. There are concerns that the people behind FaceApp can legally use your photos in pretty much any way they would like.

Digitas strategist James Whatley tweeted, “You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable… royalty-free… license to use, adapt, publish, distribute your user content… in all media formats… when you post or otherwise share.”

There are also claims and concerns that by using FaceApp, you're giving them all the photos on your phone, not just the ones you apply filters to. TechCrunch addressed this security and privacy concern on Wednesday morning. Its reporters and security researchers, at least in iOS, couldn't find any evidence that the app uploads your entire camera roll to a server somewhere.

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What FaceApp claims happens with your photos

KHOU 11 reached out to FaceApp. Spokesman Yaroslav Goncharov claims most images are deleted from their servers within 48 hours from the upload date.

“We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority,” Goncharov said.

Goncharov also mentioned that the app doesn’t sell or share any data with any third parties, and even though the core R&D team is in Russia, the user data in not transferred to Russia.

VERIFY: No, FaceApp doesn’t send all of your photos to Russia

Goncharov said all FaceApp features are available without logging in, which means the company doesn’t have access to any data that could identify a person.

How it works, according to FaceApp:

  • FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud.
  • They only upload a photo selected by a user for editing.
  • The app may store an uploaded photo in the cloud for performance and traffic, but the developers want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation.

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