FaceApp Goes Viral

Whether you’re a millennial or not, it turns out we all want to have a glimpse of what we look like as we age like wine. But do we become equally as fine? Well! Face App has that answer for you. For the past few days social media has been awash with images of how people would look like in their sixties and seventies.

My fellow Zimbabweans have not disappointed also, as they have already developed their own hashtag #2030NdinengeNdichipo

The app has gone viral in the region and across the globe this week; all thanks to a simple face mapping AI trick. Celebrities and regular folks have been sharing on Instagram and Twitter images of what their faces would look like in 60 years, and let’s be honest, the ‘old’ selfies look extremely realistic.

FaceApp is a mobile application designed to create realistic transformations of faces using various filters and features, the first version of which was released in 2017. The free version offers a limited choice of filters including the one that is going viral right now.

The feature that has people on social media going crazy by transforming their looks, gives users three versions of their faces – two young and one that looks really old and spooky.

While many users have been posting photos of their favorite celebrities, political figures with their favorite filter, nevertheless some celebrities have also jumped on the bandwagon;

In as much as sharing the images on the application is fun, we shouldn’t throw caution out of the window. There are some measures we must follow through.

When downloading any new app, users get permission dialogue boxes on both iOS and Android. Read carefully what the permissions are that you click ‘Allow’ to. 

Never use your social media account to use any third-party apps as that would allow the app more access to your data than it would have otherwise. For example, if you use Facebook to login to an app like FaceApp, they may be able to gain access to device details, or even behaviour patterns. 

In all cases, any data you voluntarily or involuntarily supply can then be used by the app or sold as data. 

Try your best to block access of apps into your gallery or personal files. For apps that don’t require it, block access to camera and microphone as well. You may not think it matters, but these permissions hinder data privacy and security. If you feel your data is being misused, check the settings of the app in detail to check that security settings have not been compromised.

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