Is FaceApp Stealing Photos? The Truth Behind the Company

FaceApp is now all over the internet. It’s the app behind the face filter which makes you look so much older than you actually do. As seen on LeBron and Drake, we now know what to expect to see as we age.

However, there have been many speculations arising from this Russia-based FaceApp download. A lot of people have been claiming that it apparently steals your photos as soon as you grant it access to your gallery. Then, they have full ownership of your photos and can use it in any way that they want.
Updated on 25 March 2023

How did it all start?

A software developer by the name of Joshua Nozzi headed to twitter to warn netizens of the supposed dangers of this app. He stated that “It immediately uploads your photos without asking, whether you chose one or not.”

Because of this, it started a chain reaction all over the internet. Sites like The New York Post even released an article with the headline being “Russians now own all your old photos”. Even the Democratic National Committee advised 2020 candidates running for election as well as their staff to delete the app from all their devices. Even the United States Senator Chuck Schumer requested the FBI and FTC to investigate FaceApp online through Twitter.

This eventually led to outrage and fear amongst the people who have already gotten the FaceApp download.

The Truth Behind FaceApp

While everyone is so focused on the reports, nobody is bothering to look for the real story. This whole mess is a HUGE misunderstanding.

Aviran Hazum, a researcher at the antivirus company Check Point, clearly said: “We have found nothing out of the ordinary in this app”. According to him, the app isn’t trying to take our photos and invade our privacy.

The people behind FaceApp online even said in a statement to Mashable that the app only uploads the photo the user selects for to the company server. Then it applies the image filter. So basically, this app works in no different way compared to how other photo-editing software does.

The closest thing that constitutes to them gaining your photos is when they upload it temporarily to the Cloud. But this is only for your convenience alone. This is so that they can ensure that you don’t have to upload the same photo every time.

In addition, “All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99 percent of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person,” he defended.

Chill Out

Ever since then, Nozzi deleted his previous tweets and apologized publicly. “I was wrong. I was wrong about what I thought the app was doing (uploading all pics once granted access), and I was wrong to have posted the accusation without testing it first. Full stop,” he tweeted.

If you are one of those people freaking out about your personal privacy, you can stop now. There is no harm behind this app which only promises to give you fun filters to use. So go ahead and tell your friends to stop worrying because there’s really nothing to be scared of.

As Online Marketing Manager, I’ve built up knowledge and experience about everything digital. And I share them happily with you on this blog. I like to write about all the wonders and dangers of the Internet - including the protection of privacy. My motto: Don’t leave the door unlocked when leaving the house. And I believe the same applies online: Don’t leave your data in the clear when connected!

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