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FaceApp’s ‘terms of use’ allows it to use user content including photos and names for any purpose including commercial usage

FaceApp, the photo editing mobile app that has gone viral (again), this time for its ability to transform user photos (mainly selfies) to make them look younger or older than their actual age, has some very concerning terms of usage.

As first pointed out on Twitter by a Silicon Valley-based lawyer, anyone using FaceApp is giving them the right to use their photos, names, usernames and likeness for any purpose including commercial usage (e.g. billboard, TV ad, or a social media ad).

The terms are available on FaceApp’s website and are shown to the users only if they click a link buried in the signup process. Interestingly, the users don’t have to sign up to be able to use the app so they can actually upload photos and edit them on FaceApp without reading or agreeing to the terms.

One of the terms titled User Content explains, “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. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.”

“You grant FaceApp consent to use the User Content, regardless of whether it includes an individual’s name, likeness, voice or persona, sufficient to indicate the individual’s identity. By using the Services, you agree that the User Content may be used for commercial purposes,” it adds.

The app that’s currently trending as number one free app in many MENA countries has a concerning privacy policy as well, which as pointed out on Twitter by many users allows FaceApp to transfer user data to a jurisdiction where they don’t have to comply with data governing laws (mainly Europe/GDPR).

“FaceApp, its Affiliates, or Service Providers may transfer information that we collect about you, including personal information across borders and from your country or jurisdiction to other countries or jurisdictions around the world. If you are located in the European Union or other regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from U.S. law, please note that we may transfer information, including personal information, to a country and jurisdiction that does not have the same data protection laws as your jurisdiction,” notes ‘how we store your information’ part of privacy policy.

It is unlikely that FaceApp could actually use the user content in a damaging way and this type of terms have been seen in some other social media apps as well but for those who take their privacy seriously and don’t like to leave a digital footprint, these terms should be enough of a reason to stay away from FaceApp (and other similar apps).

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