Aging is impossible to stop in multi-cellular organisms. A new study shows it might be possible to slow down aging, but you cannot stop it.[1] Most of us wonder what we would look like as we grow older; often wondering whether we will still look sharp, whether our skin becomes flabby and loses its glow, whether or not we will look good as we become older… hey! There is an App which can satisfy your curiosity to an extent and give you a probable glimpse into the future. It’s called “The FaceApp”!

It is a mobile application for iOS and Android developed by a Russian company; Wireless Lab, which uses neural network technology to automatically generate highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs.[2]

The FaceApp was initially released in 2017 on both iOS and Android and attracted massive traffic due to the features of the app and its ability to alter your photos and make you look like the opposite sex or totally alter your skin tone and race.[3]

Two years down the line, popularity of the App resurfaced out of nowhere with a new feature, and the world went wild. In the past week, you have probably seen and heard of people (especially celebrities[4]) posting pictures of their aged selves all over social media thanks to the FaceApp. Suddenly, #AgeChallenge was trending on social media and Twitter and Instagram were agog with the discovery of the App and its latest feature. 

However, with this latest viral moment, users have been surprised to learn that the app’s creators are harvesting metadata from their photos.[5]  The app’s privacy policy grants “perpetual” access to photos, including photo uploads of friends or family, regardless of whether these people agreed to the app’s term of use.

Alarmed? Don’t be! Research suggests that FaceApp’s behavior is not peculiar or unusual in either its code or its network traffic, and there are a bunch of other popular apps doing the same thing out there.[6]

Several theories as to the reasoning behind FaceApp’s action have been propounded however, in this article we concern ourselves with what to do and look out for to ensure your privacy and data is not accessible to persons or companies who do not have your express permission to it.

To Continue  Click I agree… terms and conditions apply.

How many times have you considered reading through the T&C’s to that App you downloaded or website you visited? Think you are the only one who does not read terms and conditions or just tapped the “I AGREE” button without glancing at the terms? You are not alone[7], a new Deloitte survey suggests 90% of consumers accept legal terms and conditions or Agreements without reading them.[8]

It therefore does not come as a surprise that only few users of the Faceapp read through the terms of use of this App. The few who did however stumbled on a disturbing clause which brought about the concerns which have srrounded the use of the app.

The Clause states that:

You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, full paid, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you”

The above quoted Clause inadvertently gives FaceApp the liberty to use the photos and personal information of the user uploaded for any purpose including sharing their photos with third parties once the user clicks on the Agree button. Wow!

Below we examine a number of clauses to pay attention to  in a typical App’s terms and conditions before agreeing to use the said application;

  1. Privacy Clause: Also referred to as “Privacy Policy”, or the “Data Use Clause” will usually prescribe how the information the app/website gathers from you during your usage will be used and whether it will be shared with third parties. The European Union has recently updated the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure that EU’s citizens’ rights to Privacy are not breached and it covers all companies who gather or use data from EU citizens where or not such a Company is based in the EU or not.
  2. The Governing Law Clause: It is important to understand and be clear on the exact laws that govern the usage of the app and your agreement with the company that owns the app. As you can imagine this Clause will help a user identify the laws of the jurisdiction which is applicable to the Agreement should a dispute arise from his or her usage of the app/website.
  3. Dispute Resolution & or Arbitration Clause: We cannot understate the value of examining such a clause thoroughly before signing up to the App or Website. This Clause will usually spell out how any potential dispute(s) arising as a result of the usage of the App or Website will be handled. It is often the case that most such Terms and Conditions and or Agreements stipulate Arbitration as the method of resolving disputes that might arise and will usually state where such Arbitration must take place. However, note that whilst Arbitration might seem a viable and, in some cases, cheaper option to resolve a dispute, it may not be best suited to resolve all disputes that arise. For instance, where the user is located in Nigeria and the Arbitration Rules of Uzbekistan applies with Arbitration taking place in Uzbekistan, it becomes impractical for a Nigerian user to bring a dispute before Arbitration unless they are willing to do such in Uzbekistan.
  4. Representations & Warranties Clause: Representations in any Agreement provide assurance by one party (usually the company) to the other party (usually the user) that specific parts or conditions are true or will happen in relation to the product. It is an assertion to a fact, true on the date the representation is made. Warranties on the other hand are promises of Indemnity if the representations (assertions) made are found to be false.
  5. User Guidelines: This Clause will usually provide instructions on the installation, usage and how to troubleshoot the App. It is important to guide a user on the usage and uses of the App.

In conclusion, whether or not you read the terms and conditions to that App when you download it or the website you visit beware of what you are signing up to and how they affect you. The above Clauses will help you get a general view of what to expect and avoid however please note that reading them is not a substitute for reading the entirety of the Agreement or Terms and Conditions before clicking that “I AGREE” button.








[8] – Pg. 12