FaceApp Online Archives

FaceApp Online Archives

FaceApp Online Archives

FaceApp Online Archives

FaceApp Requires Caution, Not Fear

By Larry Magid

There are four lessons when it comes to FaceApp. Number one, it’s important to understand the privacy implications of it and every other app you use. Number two, don’t believe every rumor you hear about horrible things apps might do. Number three, don’t assume that every app or piece of technology coming out of Russia is necessarily nefarious and number four: it’s fun.

FaceApp is a popular iOS and Android app that lets you see how you’re going to look when you get older and remind you how you may have looked when you were younger. You can also apply it to pictures of other people. It’s a fun app, but it has also raised both real and imagined privacy concerns.

Let’s start with the imagined one.

Lesson one

There were widespread rumors and media reports that the app was sending all of your photos, including screenshots, to its developers in Russia and implications that these images were being turned over to the Russian government.  Senator Chuck Schumer called for FBI and Federal Trade Commission investigations because of the app’s “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens.” But both the AP and the New York Times quoted security experts who said that the app was not sending your entire photo library to the company’s servers but only the photos you selected, which makes sense since the most effective way the company could apply its algorithms to you pictures is if you upload them to their servers. Still, as part of lesson one, it is important to note that the app’s privacy policy does give the developer some rights — including the right to send you ads and store your pictures, but this is typical of many apps. So, getting back to lesson number one, do pay attention to privacy policies but know they can sometimes be complex. FaceApp’s privacy policy is typically broad and legalistic but not draconian as privacy policies go.

Lesson two

When it comes to lesson number two, don’t assume everything bad or good you hear about an app or any other technology is necessarily true. There are a lot of false rumors and urban myths circulating online. A while back, millions of people reposted the false rumor that “Facebook has just released the entry price, $5.99, to keep the subscription of your status to be set to “private,” and there are plenty of other examples. Frankly, I’m disappointed that media outlets and elected officials fell into and spread the moral panic over this app before verifying the rumors.

My policy is to avoid sharing information I see on social media without first making some effort to find out if it’s true. You may never be 100% sure of whether something is true or false, but you can make a reasonable effort by searching for information and paying attention to the sources of the information you find. For example, I can’t swear with 100% certainty that the security experts quoted by the New York Times and the AP are correct about what they say about FaceApp, but I do know those are credible experts being quoted by credible media outlets.

Lesson three

Lesson number three is less about technology and more about our national obsession with all things Russia. Yes, the Russian government interfered with our election. Yes there are companies that collaborate closely with the Putin administration. But not everyone in Russia is an agent of the government. I can’t say with certainty that the app developer isn’t turning over information to the Russian government, but there is no evidence that it is happening. The Washington Post reported that its developer, Wireless Labs, was founded and is run by CEO Yaroslav Goncharov, who worked for Microsoft as a technical lead in Redmond, Washington, for three years starting in 2003 and more recently held executive positions for Russian telecommunications companies, SPB Software and Yandex. Again, I don’t know if he is or isn’t turning over data, but what I do know is that great technology has been coming out of Russia since the Soviet Era and — while there is always good reason to be concerned — there is also no reason to panic over every company based in Russia or for that matter China. Concern yes, panic no.

Lesson four

Lesson number four is that FaceApp is fun, but far from perfect. It applies a lot of filters to images, including an age filter that attempts to approximate what you will look like in the future and what you looked like when you were younger. I tried it and was amused by my future self (more wrinkled but not that bad) and disappointed on how inaccurate it was about my past self. There are other filters that let you change hair color, style and add facial hair but these only work on the Pro version that I didn’t want to pay for.

Bottom line: Enjoy your phone and your apps, but do vet apps and do know that there are privacy concerns with many apps you probably already use, including some from major companies. There is a lot we don’t know about what apps actually do, but if we’re careful we can at least reduce our risk.

Finally, there is one more risk associated with FaceApp. It’s one more piece of technology that can distort reality so, if you see a picture of someone who looks older than they should, it may be real, but it may also be fake.

Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]
, FaceApp Online Archives

Mobile network operators face app tsunami

COVID-19? That means boom time for mobile apps and consumer usage.

According to a report from App Annie, which tracks the app economy, consumer spend on mobile apps and games shot past $50 billion in H1 2020.

That's up 10% compared with the previous six months.

A new monthly record was set in May, when lockdown measures were in full swing in many countries, with consumers shelling out a total of $9.6 billion in app stores.

Across the first six months of 2020, downloads of mobile apps and games topped 64 billion. Again, that's a 10% hike versus H2 2019. The popularity of mobile games is also soaring in some countries, particularly in India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil.

After tallying everything up, including a "boom" in mobile shopping during H1 2020, App Annie calculated that consumers worldwide spent a total of 1.6 trillion hours on their mobiles during the six-month period.

Hours glued to the mobile screen only look set to increase, and mirrors recent findings from the UK.

Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on
Light Reading.

"Video streaming wars," said the latest App Annie report, "are set to intensify amidst high profile launches and expansions like Disney+. The app market specialist expects users to "bounce between multiple video streaming apps" to access a full suite of content while under COVID restrictions.

Sports streaming looks also set to "capture audiences hungry for new content and live matches." MLB, NHL and NBA have started again in the US, as has Premiere League soccer in the UK.

Turn and face the strain
So where does all this leave mobile network operators? Senior executives tend to claim their networks are coping well under the weight of increased traffic volumes, but some glitches seem inevitable if network investment doesn't keep up with demand.

According to research firm Enders Analysis in April, Telefónica Espana saw a 30% spike in data traffic. Telecom Italia reported a 10% rise. According to OpenSignal, which analyses network performance, download speeds were flagging in Italy earlier on in the year.

In the UK, mobile network operators encountered glitches when traffic spiked in the wake of government advice to stay away from public places in March.

Related posts:

— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]
FaceApp Online Archives

FaceApp, the Viral Photo Editing App, Seems to Be Blocking Users From India

FaceApp, the photo editing app with age filters that have made the app viral virtually overnight, seems to be now blocking users from India. The app is still available for to download for Android and iOS respectively from Google Play and Apple's App Store, but trying to use FaceApp from India now leads to error. The FaceApp block was reported by users on Twitter and confirmed independently by Gadgets 360. We've reached out to the company behind the app for a comment on the development, and will update this story as and when we hear from them.

If you are on Android and trying to use FaceApp from India, you might now be greeted with an error "Something went wrong, Please try again". iOS users are getting a more cryptic "ApiRequestError error 6 - Operation couldn't be completed" message. The problem was first reported by some Twitter users, and confirmed by Gadgets 360, as seen in the screenshots above.

FaceApp, which uses AI to apply various effects to your face, including the viral old-age filter, has been trending the last few days, catapulting the app to the top spot as the #1 free app in Apple's App Store, and the top three in Google Play at the time of filing this report. Everyone and their grandmother, it seems, has been posting their FaceApp-ed portrait to social media, not too dissimilar to the Prisma-craze from almost exactly three years ago.

Apart from the old-age filter, FaceApp can also “make you smile”, converting a regular photo into one where you are smiling. Similar to the old-age filter, another filter lets you look younger, while yet another FaceApp filter lets you change your style and experiment with different hair styles et al.

The app's rise in popularity has not been without its share of controversies, with some points in its terms of service raising concerns.

"You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform, and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you," one of the terms reads.

So, unless you are comfortable with FaceApp's terms as well as privacy policy, you might want to stay away from the app. It is, however, important to note here that FaceApp is hardly the first app to have terms and conditions like this as such language can often be found in other social media apps and websites. Still, it is good to keep in mind that user data is the biggest asset of an online service and it can be sold and transferred to generate revenue.

Meanwhile, FaceApp has caught the eye of US senators who are now asking FBI and FTC to investigate the app and its Russia links. 

This is notably not the first time when FaceApp has been embroiled in a controversy. Back in 2017, it had raised eyebrows for enabling users to change their ethnicity. After the controversy, FaceApp developers removed the controversial filter that was designed to change the skin tone and facial features of users to match a certain ethnicity.

In a separate issue in 2017, FaceApp was found to have a dedicated "hot" filter that looked to "lighten" the skin tone of users. The racist filter was removed after it sparked outrage among many users.

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Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]

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