When you use FaceApp, you give a Russian company "perpetual, irrevocable" rights to your photos

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/18/when-you-use-faceapp-you-give.html

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So when someone uploaded The Avengers for the aging…does that mean they own those images?
I would love to watch the Litigation as they try to sell head shots of Scarjo to sell Ukrainian pasta


Is there any good clean fun left , when the internet or an app is involved these days?
My spider senses should have gone off when all of a sudden you get flooded with pictures of your rapidly aged circle of friends.
Nevertheless I used the app straight away - with various photos of me AND friends.
But I don’t think there will ever be a Japanese advert with one of my friends faces on it.
No, now I think this will end up in some much darker shit then we can imagine now.


To be fair: only if you make an account and log in. (Per FaceApp and NPR: FaceApp also said that 99% of users don’t log in and, for that group of users, it doesn’t have access to any identifying data.)

The app doesn’t require any kind of log in or any of your personal information and it has been independently verified to not upload or keep your images for use if you tell it not to.


Can I upload a picture of my ass?

Because 1.) I’m curious to see how it ages, and 2.) I would love to see my ass on a Russian billboard.


I haven’t tried this yet - but no one wants to use my face… not even me.


When you use FaceApp, you give a Russian company “perpetual, irrevocable” rights to your photos


When you use FaceBook, you give an American company “perpetual, irrevocable” rights to your photos

as far as I can see it, its more or less the same user-agreement-terms like facebooks:

So Facebook gets a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license” to your photos. Let’s break it down

and guess what? the photos are not send to some “russian” clouds but into the amazon and google-cloud.


jezuz, @frauenfelder , thats really some russian-paranoia-hysteria right there, please, dont jump on the propaganda-train just because its russian.


And this is different from other bandwagon apps that have blown up how? Every single time something like this has popped up its usually come out that the people behind it are gathering huge amounts of user data, user likenesses, etc. This isn’t a new issue and i’ve purposefully stayed away from this because of it.


Did you make an account, log in, and give the app permission to download your camera roll?

If not, no need to be paranoid about a silly face-morphing app that does not have access to your personal information.

FaceApp has been around for years and years. It’s okay.


Right? I was thinking a way to combat it is to give EVERYONE a perpetual license to your photos, and let whoever wants them most fight it out.

As far as this goes, there’s nothing stopping any company from taking your images and using them however they desire. How many of us can afford to take a foreign company to court? I can’t even afford take a local company to court. The average person – the people these apps are designed for – has no realistic recourse. They don’t have a team of IP lawyers ready to pounce.

If you happen to find out your face is being used to flog condoms in the Saint Petersburg metro, what are you going to do?

Once in awhile you’ll hear about someone’s art being taken, and eventually the artist might get the thieves to stop using that piece of art for profit. They might even get some kind of settlement that almost makes all the legal hoop hopping worthwhile, provided they weren’t driven bankrupt in the process. In the meantime, the thieving company’s wheels have kept turning and they’ve made more than they paid dealing with you by leeching from the skills of some other poor bastards that don’t even know it happened yet.

As long as the profits of this kind of theft outweighs the penalties, something like “rights” won’t make a difference.

The one thing this license does is eliminate any chance they can be successfully sued. Unless they come up against someone else that has the same rights, and deep enough pockets to put up a fight.


One alternative, specifically provide pictures of famous, wealthy people. And also of copyrighted characters.


you know what you need a big set of photos of faces for? training a neural network.


It may not have access to identifying data for users that don’t log in, but that means next to nothing. Identification, whether ripped direct from a device, or pieced together later via other cross references, is getting more and more trivial with every day that passes. This is pretty much a non-statement by FaceApp.


Um. Unlike what’s stated in the OP above, the reality is that the app does not have access to your name, your email, your personal information, your photo, or your camera roll unless you create an account, log in, and give it permission. That’s not a “non-statement”, it’s the facts of how the app works.

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Some personal info like name, email address etc can be determined from enough cross referencing, though.

Does the app’s legalise claim ownership of images that contain other people who happen to appear in uploaded photos, but who have not agreed to their terms?

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IAL In order for a person to convey rights to a copyrighted work, they must have those rights in the first place. So, if I loaded a copy of picture that I didn’t own to FaceApp, the owner of the picture could argue that FaceApp has not acquired any rights to the picture.

Of course this is how this would likely play out in court but, as has been said in other posts, this assumes the copyright owner has the resources to fight this.


Data brokers are happy to help turn mobile device IDs into names or whatever other identifying info one might require. @Slant, I believe this is what you were referring to.

I didn’t dispute what the app itself does or doesn’t have access to. I’m not a user and don’t really care. I’m not talking (directly) about the “app”.

But, since you bring it up, below is a link to their privacy policy. If you read it, you’ll see that the app doesn’t give a damn whether or not you’re “logged in”. You certainly can log in, if you like, but it doesn’t matter as far as the reaping of data goes. Really, though, this makes sense, as this particular company seems to be just one of thousands designed to do the same thing: harvest, compile, and sell data. They are brokers, just like the rest. Hence their “app” is “free”. Not FOSS free, mind you, but free as in have a nice tall, refreshing glass of bleach free. Mmmmm…tasty!



There’s always a connection. If it’s data that’s “de-identified” w/in the app, the company may be said to NOT have access to “your” information. Who, really, are you anyway when you’re device’s information is “de-identified”. But the compilers will certainly put the pieces together, later, outside of the “app”, all nice and shiny for the brokers to put to auction.