Greetings from Brussels!
There has been a lot of social chatter and media coverage recently around the mobile app "craze" known as FaceApp, the Russian-based photo-editing app. From what I have seen, folks have gone into a frenzy over the new aging feature, with multiple postings on social media platforms. It also topped the charts these last weeks as the number-one free app in Apple’s App Store.
All well and good. I do like a bit of fun myself. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the app has come into the spotlight, having gone viral in 2017, collecting 80 million active users in the process.
In parallel worlds, on 19 July, the CNIL issued guidance for users of photo-editing applications. How timely. The guidance is good, articulating sound tips and pointers to using such apps and the potential risks. Importantly, the CNIL advises to check the permissions being requested by the application; beware of pop-up message requests to access camera or library as invariably you may be granting access to all your photos. There may well be private photos or photos of others who may not wish for their image to be shared; moreover, it is possible that extended metadata, such as geolocation, timestamps and device information, is also collected.
All in all, and this applies to any application you choose to download, do a minimum check in advance to avoid possible surprises down the line or even a possible battle to claw back your privacy rights.
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