FaceApp Goes Viral With Its 'Old Age' Filter, But Prompts Security Concerns

FaceApp is the latest viral trend on social media, with individuals, including a long list of celebrities, sharing photos of how they might look 50 years from now. However, the app has now prompted security concerns.

FaceApp, the popular free mobile app that allows users to put an “old age” filter on their selfies, uses “neural networks,” similar to those in the human face, to change facial expressions and physical appearances, The Verge reported in 2017. The popular “old age” filter alters a person’s face by adding wrinkles and gray hair, giving the photo a scarily realistic look, which is probably why the app has become so popular.  

I mean, just look at this snapshot that The Jonas Brothers shared of the three siblings, Joe, Nick and Kevin, with a caption that referenced their early hit song “The Year 3,000.”



When you take a trip to the Year 3000.

A post shared by Jonas Brothers (@jonasbrothers) on

Drake also dropped a photo that showed him with gray hair.



Best caption wins ovo tickets

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Cardi B also shared an “old age” picture of her and rapper Offset — but later deleted it — which she captioned, “Me throwing up when I am 80.”



DEAD 😭😭😂 @iamcardib @offsetyrn #migos #cardib #offset #takeoff #quavo

A post shared by Migos (@migosyrn.news) on

“Feeling cute might delete later,” Lil Nas captioned his FaceApp pic.



feeling cute might delete later 😌

A post shared by Lil Nas X (@lilnasx) on

But while social media feeds fill up with these “old age” pictures, new security concerns have risen for the trending filter app, especially in the wake of privacy scandals where social media platforms have given aways users’ private information. 

According to ABC News, critics have cautioned that the app could collect more than just the photos that are uploaded. FaceApp’s policy states that app “cannot ensure the security of any information you transmit to FaceApp or guarantee that information on the service may not be accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed.”

The legal document gives the app permission to use a user’s likeness, name and username, for any purpose, without their consent, even if the user were delete it, HuffPost reports. 

While users have agreed to similar terms with other apps and social media platforms, since FaceApp was developed by a team from Russia, there’s an added bit of concern. Some have speculated that the app could build a database of photorealistic avatars that could later be used to create extremely convincing fake social media profiles.

“FaceApp’s privacy page also says they may share user content and your information with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies,” ABC News Chief Business Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis explained.

“It’s a Russian company, so once you grant access, you are granting access to all of those companies,” Jarvis added. 

In an emailed statement to HuffPost, FaceApp founder Yaroslav Goncharov said, “We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.”

FaceApp also said performs edits in the cloud to boost performance and cut down on traffic, and that most photos are deleted 48 hours after they’re uploaded.

Either way, also make sure to read all of the conditions for the apps you use, and stay safe, collegiettes!