FaceApp potentially mining user data, NBI warns

Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 21 2020 02:08 PM | Updated as of Jun 22 2020 07:31 AM

FaceApp potentially mining user data, NBI warns 1
This illustration picture taken on July 24, 2019 in Paris shows the logo of the Russian-made face aging application FaceApp on the screen of a tablet. Martin Bureau, AFP
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MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation on Sunday warned Filipinos against the use of FaceApp which might be mining their information.

NBI Cybercrime Division Chief Vic Lorenzo said the app, which allows users to switch their genders, can access the user's information.

"Danger dun ay kapag may sensitive photos ka, may access na sila don. Kapag naka-enable ang GPS mo, makukuha nila locations mo. Kung business may purpose, laging may purpose yan," he told ABS-CBN News.

(The danger there is if you have sensitive photos, they can access it. If your GPS is enabled, they can get your location. Business always has a purpose.)

"Pwede nila gamitin for advertising. Pwede rin sa espionage.
Halimbawa may targeted politician o individual ka, pwedeng pag-aralan ang movement nila.”

(They can use it for advertising or espionage. For example, they are targeting a politician or individual, they can track their movements.

Simply uninstalling the application may not be enough to protect your information, Lorenzo added.

“May analytics at ang artificial intelligence ngayon napaka-advance na. Kapag inuninstall mo, mawawala yung access sila, pero lahat ng photos mo andun na yon lahat ng photos makukuha," he said.

(There's analytics, and artificial intelligence nowadays is so advanced. If you uninstall it, their access is removed but all of your photos have been accessed already.)

The NBI has yet to receive any complaints pertaining to the application, but Lorenzo advised users to be discerning when using such apps.