A large number of users and security experts from across the world have expressed concern over the privacy policies of AI face editor app FaceApp even as the app's new age filter has made it go viral across the world, registering over 100 million installations and counting.
A couple of years ago, a new messaging app suddenly appeared out of nowhere and gained sudden and widespread popularity, so much so that it gained over 20 million users in less than two months across the world. And why not? The app offered people the anonymity they needed to come clean with their thoughts about others without facing the risk of being discovered.
Sarahah offered users the ability to express their thoughts and feeling while maintaining their anonymity, a concept immediately embraced by millions of smartphone users. However, security experts discovered shortly thereafter that the app's developers weren't as privacy-conscious as its users may have believed.
Security researcher Zach Julian revealed that the app contained a functionality 'to send every phone number, email address, and associated names on a device to Sarahah’s servers'. While iOS users received notifications asking for their permission so that Sarahah could access contacts, only those using Android phones with Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS received such notifications.
"Sarahah, on both Android and iOS, does not provide users enough information on how their phone’s contact details will be used. While this functionality is claimed to be part of a future release, and that “the Sarahah database doesn’t currently hold a single contact”, unfortunately all we have is the company’s word,' he added.