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FaceApp Reacts to Privacy Concerns, Warns Users When It Uploads a Photo

July 18, 2019, 2:59 PM UTC

After a tsunami of bad PR over its privacy policies, FaceApp, the viral app that lets users age people in photos, alter their hairstyle and color and even see what they’d look like as the opposite sex, is now giving users a clearer warning about what’s being done with images uploaded to its system.

Users who take a picture to adjust now see a message reading “Cloud Photo Processing: Each photo you select for editing will be uploaded to our servers for imaging processing and face transformation.” They’ll then have the option of proceeding or canceling the upload.

FaceApp is hardly a new app (and has even found itself the target of a user backlash before), but it has found itself experiencing a revival of late. You can’t hop on to Facebook or Instagram this week without being inundated with photos of friends and celebrities who have suddenly, apparently, become senior citizens or octogenarians.

Many users were surprised to discover the app’s ties to a Russian company, however. And language in its privacy policy led to some concerns regarding the app’s practice of uploading photos to the cloud, instead of processing them privately on a person’s device, as well as how long the company holds onto user photos.

In a statement to Fortune Wednesday, FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov confirmed the company processes photos on the cloud, but says “most” are deleted within 48 hours. He says the company uses AWS and Google Cloud.

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