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Selfie apps that sell user’s sensitive facial data

Android 12 Facial

You could say sarcastically, “No, really, how surprising.” Researching popular Seflie apps in the Android Store shows that some operators are not very sensitive to user data. Monetizes intimate details, including biometrics.

Be careful while using selfie apps

Selfie apps have long gone beyond just taking beautiful portrait photos. For example, many of the applications allow the use of complex 3D filters after an accurate recording of the facial structure – a very popular application, especially among younger users. In the background, the apps collect sensitive biometric data for their functionality. It is now clear that some providers are not particularly sensitive to this data.

The Consumer Protection Portal Mobilsicher.de For his research, he examined six of the most popular selfie apps from the Google Play Store. The fundamental problem: Face scan data, such as the dimensions of the eyes, mouth and nose and their respective distances from each other, allows the user to be recognized outside of the original application. How the providers handle this sensitive content is very different.

The consumer recommendation follows a thorough investigation of data transfer behavior and data protection statements: “According to our analysis, we clearly do not recommend the use of Perfect365, YouCam MakeUp and Facetune2.” The Perfect365 application, in particular, is ringing alarm bells for various reasons. The provider openly states that “full names, biometrics, location data and all other information” must be monetized. However, an “informed consent” required by EU law for the processing and transfer of this data cannot be identified.

Less questionable but data hungry

The three apps FaceApp, PhotoLab image processing or BeautyPlus are then classified as “less questionable”. If you want to further limit the hunger for data that still exists, consumer advocates recommend using tracking blockers and removing the advertising ID.