Kaspersky Warns FaceApp Challenge Users about Sharing Images, Information

Here’s recommendations from Kaspersky before downloading and using FaceApp Challenge, and other apps for your security

Media Release:

THE FaceApp application has started to circulate again on social networks after the free launch of the “gender swap” filter.

It’s grown into a new craze, generating the hashtag “faceappchallenge” and received hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook and Instagram. As a result, concerns about the security of the facial recognition application and the risks of sharing this information for privacy reasons have also been raised.

In this connection, Yeo Siang Tiong, Kaspersky general manager for Southeast Asia, warns of sharing their images and private information.

“Being isolated and stuck at home during the pandemic has prompted people to spend more time on social media than ever before. Keeping themselves updated with news and connecting with friends and families are among the top reasons. But people have also been turning to social media to deal with stress and anxiety.

“Sharing photos and videos using apps that add filters either by swapping genders and looking older are now back in vogue. Again, we say there’s no harm in using these apps. But we urge social media users to pay strict attention to how much of their private information will be used and shared by such apps to avoid any risk,” warns the Kaspersky official.

Kaspersky, FaceApp Challenge, "gender swap", Facebook, Instagram, cybersecurity
Kaspersky General Manager for Southeast Asia Yeo Siang Tiong in an interview with SDN — Science and Digital News at the sidelines of the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Weekend in Yangon, Burma, in 2019. (File photo by SDN)

Fabio Assolini, senior security analyst at Kaspersky, assures that the application does not contain any malicious elements. However, since facial recognition is a technology used mainly for password authentication, the user must be very careful when sharing their image with third parties.

“We have to treat these new forms of authentication as passwords, as any widely available facial recognition system can end up being used for both good and bad,” warns the Kaspersky expert.

“In addition, it must be taken into account that this data is stored on third-party servers, and that it can also be stolen by cyber criminals and used to impersonate identities,” he adds.

— Fabio Assolini, senior security analyst at Kaspersky

According to Assolini, companies that own such apps could potentially facilitate or sell these images to entities that use Artificial Intelligence to make facial recognition modifications. “In addition, it must be taken into account that this data is stored on third-party servers, and that it can also be stolen by cyber criminals and used to impersonate identities,” he adds.

Therefore, the analyst recommends that before joining the latest social media challenge, users should be aware of the security of the app and download it only from official stores. He also highlights the importance of reading the privacy terms of the applications to understand what rights and types of access are being requested.

Left photo: After FaceApp Challenge. At right, before. (Source: Facebook/Edwin Eusebio)

When downloading applications, Kaspersky recommends that users take the following precautions:

* Make sure the app is reliable and is downloaded from official websites.

* Read the privacy terms to understand what information is being requested.

* Treat facial recognition like a password – don’t use it everywhere.

* Always check the permissions being requested, such as the login associated with an existing account in a certain social network.

For more information on cybersecurity tips, visit our blog. (Kaspersky Philippines)

About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 250,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at http://www.kaspersky.com.

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