Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto raises concern over FaceApp use

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2020 04:49 PM

MANILA - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Saturday expressed concern over how viral photo-altering smartphone applications such as FaceApp may be handling data stored from its users. 

In response to a netizen who asked the mayor's thoughts on how some users could have morphed his face using the app, Sotto replied on Twitter: "Hindi po ako naiinis. Pero kung babasahin niyo 'yung thread na ni-quote ko makikita niyo kung bakit may pangamba ang iba sa mga app katulad nito... Data could be used by people with bad intentions." 

(I am not annoyed. But if you read the thread I quoted, you see why people are concerned about apps like this... Data could be used by people with bad intentions.)

Continuing his thought, Sotto said data transmission using the app is "scary," adding that such apps "don't pose a new danger." 

"The way it appears to me, apps like #FaceApp don't pose a NEW danger. It's not that difficult to get/steal pictures and data from people. The scary thing is the speed and scale at which they can now do it, while we unknowingly help them," he said. 

The question was raised after Sotto quote-tweeted an account exposing the supposed risks of using the app, which said users are granting the app permission to "reproduce, modify, adapt, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, and display your user content.” 

"Paano kung may gumagamit lang ng mga picture mo na wala namang permiso?" the mayor said on the quote tweet, pairing it with a flustered emoji.

(What if someone just uses your picture without permission?)

Netizens have used the app to morph faces of public figures, including the mayor.

Several experts have raised the alarm on the terms and conditions of the application - supposedly created by Russian developers - which manipulates selfies to make the user look older or look like another gender.