Two weeks ago FaceApp roared on to the scene and went viral as millions of users took selfies with the app, which after running through a digital time machine, transformed their faces to how they will look in 30 years or so. The results produced a good, perhaps horrified, laugh. Aside from the aging wrinkles, the winkle with the app is that it was developed by Wireless Labs in Russia and the selfies are sent across the cloud to Russian President Putin’s servers in his backyard. Who knows what nefarious activities Vladimir might concoct with all of those photos.
Alas, the problem exists not only with these Russian servers, but closer to home Wired magazinereported that Facebook regularly applies facial recognition to photos that users uploaded to its servers. These are only two channels that consume photos and who knows how many others are marshaling facial recognition for less than legitimate uses. There has been a lot written about this privacy issue, but it appears that consumers are frankly more interested in the uses and services that facial recognition provides than in some yet to be defined privacy concerns.