FaceApp Old-Age Filter App Goes Viral but You Might Want to Read Its Legal Terms Before Using


FaceApp, the app that uses advanced software algorithms to transform selfies and make people virtually look older or younger than their actual age, has suddenly become a household name once again. Chances are high that you might have seen your friends or colleagues sharing edited versions of their self-portraits using the artificial intelligence (AI) app. But there are some mysterious terms of use that you should clearly read and understand before getting started with FaceApp.

One of the reasons that have helped FaceApp become popular is the accuracy with which it edits selfies and make people look older or younger. The app, which is available for download on Android and iOS devices, applies filters to change your age or gender or add a smile to your selfie. But to begin with the editing process, the app uploads photos to its servers. This is where the things become tricky.

As spotted by Twitter user Elizabeth Potts Weinstein, FaceApp’s terms of use mention that if you use the app, you’re granting its developers right to use your content, including your selfies, name, likeness, voice, and persona, for commercial purposes.

“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.

The privacy policy of FaceApp also suggests that its developers can relocate the user data from one region to another without informing end users. “If you are located in the European Union or other regions with laws governing data collection and use that may differ from US 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,” reads a part of the privacy policy.

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.

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. Its developers, however, had 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 was aimed to lighten the skin tone of users. The racist filter was removed after it sparked a disagreement by the masses.

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