FaceApp Privacy Issue: How the infamous App also request access to users Facebook friends list

The AI-powered photo-editing app, FaceApp has been on the news recently owing to its huge adoption by influencers to mimic how they’d look when they are older or younger, or change genders, and the viral moment has resulted some privacy concerns as to the controversy surrounding how and where the purported images are stored.

There was an earlier fear that the app also gains access to the huge collection of images on users mobile phones, which issue have been dismissed by the Russian creators, maintaining that their servers are from trusted public providers like Amazon Web Services and Google.

Albeit, the Russian-made FaceApp has been around since 2017, the past few weeks has been monumental as millions of people downloaded the app, and presently there is a feature that allow users to download and edit photos from Facebook accounts when a user enables FaceApp to access the account via the ‘Login with Facebook’ option made available.

FaceApp fetches the list of Facebook friends “who use and have shared their friends’ lists with FaceApp” whenever a user grants it permissions, however, FaceApp works fine without you even connecting your Facebook account to use the photo-editing app when you choose to select photos from your mobile device storage.

Another privacy issue raised was that on the iOS platform, the app overrides security settings when denied access to camera roll, and it’s capable of still selecting and uploading a photo, despite not having the necessary permission to access the photos.

FaceApp, however had specified that it “might” store photos users chose to upload to the cloud service for a short period, claiming that it is done for “performance and traffic” reasons to make sure that there is no repeatedly uploading of the same photo to carry out an edit.

But granting FaceApp permission to access your Facebook friend list or other unnecessary permissions, can be pretty scary and risky, so it is advised that you update your preferred rights on the Facebook account settings under “Apps and Website” section.

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