Phone App’s Privacy Policy Called Into Question

02 Oct 2019

Concerns had been raised that FaceApp, a Russian startup, uploads users’ photos to the cloud – without making it clear to them that processing is not going on locally on their device. Another issue raised by FaceApp users was that the iOS app appears to be overriding settings if a user had denied access to their camera roll, after people reported they could still select and upload a photo – i.e. despite the app not having permission to access their photos. As we reported earlier, the latter is actually allowed behavior in iOS – which gives users the power to choose to block an app from full camera roll access but select individual photos to upload if they so wish. FaceApp goes on to specify that it “Might” store the photos users have chosen to upload in the cloud for a short period, claiming this is done for “Performance and traffic” – such as to make sure that a user doesn’t repeatedly upload the same photo to carry out another edit. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We’d like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all pictures from the gallery are uploaded to our servers after a user grants access to the photos.