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Think FaceApp Is Scary? Wait Till You Hear About Facebook

FaceApp went viral when it launched in 2017, and prompted a similar—if far more muted—privacy kerfuffle. But compared to Meitu, that year’s other viral face manipulator, which is quite a phrase to type, FaceApp was downright saintly in its data collection. "Privacy panics happen when you mix sensitive data like photos with foreign apps with very generic privacy policies." Those measures don’t make FaceApp some paragon of data privacy. While the way it manages photos is kosher under Apple rules, FaceApp doesn't make it clear enough to users that it's sending them to a server. "People give photos to lots of different apps. I think this is probably getting attention because it's Russian developers," says Christine Bannan, consumer protection counsel at the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center. "But this is definitely not a unique FaceApp problem. FaceApp is part of a larger privacy problem."

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