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Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021

Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021.Indeed, when you send a photo of yourself, you don’t know who will keep it to retouch it, and it could be used to impersonate your identity. The Russian application that is capable of showing how you would look as an adult, as a child or if you changed your sex. Precisely this last filter, the gender change filter, is the one that has brought back the app that was all the rage 3 years ago in 2017, and then again last year. But precisely in 2019 we already saw the dangers that the use of the application entails.

Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021
Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021

The private data that FaceApp asks for and shares

The grace of the application is the use it makes of its algorithms and “a type of Artificial Intelligence known as a neural network”, which, based on a selfie that you take, modifies the image. And in the summer of 2019 it was discovered that FaceApp’s postulates are displayed ambiguously, although they make it clear that the app can “share your information as well as cookie data, log files, device identifiers and location data with organizations. from third parties ”.

Why should an app that serves to show us younger, older or with a different sex know where we are exactly, following the GPS data? And even more: Why the FaceApp servers can “record certain types of information from log files, including your web request, IP address, type of browser used, visited webs, number of clicks and the way you interact with links on the service, domain names, page views and other information? ”

This is the permission you give to FaceApp and what it takes from you and your mobile. And the worrying thing is that like this there are many apps like this.

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Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021

Share your photo with other companies

Since the facial modification of a user’s Selfie photo requires the use of technologically complex algorithms to edit the photo, these algorithms are not installed together with the rest of the ‘assets’ when you download and install the app, you do not have them in the mobile, so each and every one of the images processed in the app must be uploaded to the FaceApp server to be processed. That is: a copy of your photo is sent to the FaceApp team, and, as stated in its Policy, it can be shared with a lot of subsidiaries or Third Parties.

Experts from the cybersecurity company Kaspersky analyzed the application, and although they note that “in this case there is no obvious risk, it is a good time to draw attention to privacy in facial recognition.”

In the case of this Russian app, “the photo is sent to the application’s servers where the modification is made and it is sent to the user”, but giving your consent for your data to be shared with other companies from FaceApp is especially serious, because it is not an email or a phone number, but a photo, your photo.

Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021
Dangers of Using FaceApp: Identity Theft in 2021

Falsify an identity from a photo

According to Fabio Assolini, Senior Security Analyst at Kaspersky: “In the case of FaceApp, by using Artificial Intelligence to perform facial recognition modifications, the business owner could sell these photos to companies of this type, and this data can be easily used by cybercriminals to falsify our identity ”.

Facial recognition, as well as biometrics, have been used systematically as forms of authentication, but care must be taken when deciding to share them and think about the risks: “We have to see these new forms of authentication as passwords, since any system of facial recognition available to everyone, it can end up being used for both good and bad ”, say the experts.

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