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FaceApp is Dangerous or Not? This Experiment Proves

OmgUp! - The FaceApp application, which was popular 2 years ago, is back on the rise because of the viral #AgeChallenge made by netizens. They change their face photos to be older through this FaceApp application. But then this application became a concern among internet users. Even the US government was concerned about the privacy of the user's data in question.

US Senator Chuck Schumer also asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the application. This concern is not without reason. In its privacy policy, FaceApp states openly that the photos uploaded by users can be used by FaceApp for any purpose, including commercial interests.

FaceApp is Dangerous or Not? This Experiment Proves
Image Source - motherjones.com

In addition, concerns arise because FaceApp was developed by a Russian company called Wireless Lab based in St. Petersburg. The domain of this company was also linked to allegations of Russian interference in US elections. That's why viral news emerged, where FaceApp was rumored to be able to steal user photos stored on the cellphone secretly.

CEO of FaceApp, Yaroslav Goncharov himself dismissed the accusation. He said that FaceApp did not commit any malicious actions on photos belonging to users that had been uploaded. "We only upload photos that have been selected for later editing. You can check them using the search available on the internet," he said.

Hearing this statement, media from the United States, Buzzfeed also conducted research. The research was conducted to see if there was suspicious activity from FaceApp during use and after use. Quoted from the Buzzfeed page, Tuesday (07/23/2019), they then run the application on a number of different devices. Buzzfeed uses Android and iOS phones.

In addition to different operating systems, Buzzfeed also tests with two different FaceApp application permissions. One is given permission to access user photos, the other one is not permitted.

After that Buzzfeed uploads as many as four images through the application. As a result, there is no suspicious activity carried out by this application. In theory, if FaceApp steals photos or other data without the user's knowledge, this application will consume a lot of data when active in the "background".

But from the study, even though FaceApp remained active even though it wasn't used, the overall data traffic seen on the cellphone was only about 43MB in one hour. The amount of data released is fairly reasonable, because not only FaceApp applications that work in the background, there are also Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Two other researchers also stated the same thing.

The amount of data traffic generated does not indicate any suspicious activity. Photo of Donald Trump and Steve Jobs edited on FaceApp (FaceApp) Will Strafach, a researcher and CEO of Guardian Firewall also said that he had tested the FaceApp application.

He also considered it legitimate if the users put suspicion and are aware of this application. In line with Will, a French security researcher, Baptiste Robert also said that users may be suspicious but don't accuse without proof. "People are scared because behind the company FaceApp is Russian.

What I want to say is, it's okay to be suspicious, but don't accuse without proof. Here we have no technical evidence to shout about a scandal," he said. The FaceApp party claims that edited user photos are stored on servers run by Amazon and Google. However, it is possible if FaceApp misuses users' photos for various purposes. The reason is that even on the approval page, the user has been informed that the uploaded photo will become the property of FaceApp with a perpetual license.

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