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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Is Face App really Dangerous?

A US Senator made quite a bit of noise about the Face App, an app which change your appearance so you would look old.

Is it really dangerous? How does it affect you personally?

Quite a few websites claimed that you would lose your rights to your own image and the company can use your image for commercial purposes. Considering that you obtained and used their app for free, that is actually a good trade-off.

The Real Danger
The app itself is not dangerous as it request only normal access similar to other app.

So what is the real danger? To be frank, the danger of using Face App is similar to any other app available out there. That you share too much information that can be used to perform identity theft. Other apps which ask you to answer certain details in certain way are more likely social engineering tools to steal your personal information and to perform a profiling of you.

An example is for you to create a funny gangster name ostensibly from your birthday. Combine this with another app that ask you to detail your year of birth, you can get the respondents' date of birth, which is usually by banks and other organisations to verify your identity via telephone calls.

How about the dangers from exposing facial biometric data? Banks in China have already adopted facial biometric as means to verify accountholders. In Malaysia, Citibank even verify accountholders via voice recognition software. Mobile phone makers Samsung and Apple too have facial recognition app for their phones.

Would the app be a danger that allow future frauds to happen via leaked biometric data? Chances are, yes. But not necessarily via this app. Even Facebook uses facial recognition to assist in photo tagging.

So the danger is actual. But it is a normalized risk. The only way for you to really prevent leakage of your biometric data is not to own any social media accounts. Even the fact that you shared your photos online is as good as allowing your personal info being leaked online. And sometimes, you don't even need to share as the photos you took with your friends could also be shared by your friends. So go figure.
So chill up. Go ahead use the app.

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