Alerted Russia-based New Profile Pic App Collecting Personal Data

Experts are warning users of the New Profile Pic app that collects large amounts of personal data.

The first registered app in Russia allows users to create a profile image in the shape of a drawing or cartoon by uploading an existing photo.

Tens of thousands of users have uploaded an image to the app to get their profile picture.

it’s okay report Linerock Investments, the company that created the app, is located in an apartment building near the Moscow River next to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

However, Photo Lab spokesperson Kate Polezhaeva said: independent They “have development and customer support offices in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus … but the top management of the company and most of the project managers, including me, are based in these countries.”

According to Google Play Store, the app has been installed over 1 million times and reviewed by approximately 30,000 users. #1 free app on the App Store.

Cyber ​​Security Advisor Jake Moore said: “This app is most likely a way to capture people’s faces in high resolution, and especially since it’s based in another country and has never been heard of, it will question any app that wants this much data.”

However, the fact checker website snob “There is little evidence that this app is more intrusive in collecting user data than other apps,” he wrote.

International Investigative Journalists Consortium Offshore Leak Database Show Linerock Investments Ltd is headquartered in Moscow and has links to the British Virgin Islands.

But Polezhaeva said, “The Moscow river address is the address of the lawyer who registered the company. We never had an office there.”

“It is true that the domain is registered as a Moscow address. Former Moscow address of the founder of the company. He does not currently live in the Russian Federation,” he added. “Until now, the address has been changed to avoid confusion.”

The St. Petersburg-based company in western Russia launched FaceApp in 2017, allowing users to use artificial intelligence to upload photos for editing to make them look older. After word of mouth, security experts warned users about the amount of data the app sent to Russia.

A warning has been issued against the Russian-based New Profile Pic app that collects large amounts of personal data from users.

(Screenshot / Linerock Investments LTD)

The New Profile Pic app says, “The world around us is changing rapidly and is always evolving. In this ever-changing world, why stick with one profile picture on social media? Always new… Try a different experience created by AI!”

“The NewProfilePic app allows you to change the style of your image as many times as you like. Dare to change with a profile picture that reflects your current mood or state of mind. Impress your friends on social media and keep them interested in what comes next!” Promotional material for app status.

By downloading the app, users consent to sharing their location, information about the type of device they are using, and other photos uploaded to their social media accounts.

Our data policy states that “we collect certain personal information you voluntarily provide.”

“We collect your name, email address, username, social network information and other information you provide when you register,” he adds.

The app also collects your IP address, browser type and settings, as well as data about users from other companies.

The app developer said, “Whenever you select an effect related to facial manipulation, we use special facial recognition technology to detect the photo. Find the key points of the face you need and apply the effect to the photo.”

“The detected key points may be kept with the photo on our provider’s servers for up to two weeks from the last interaction with the photo to speed up further processing of the same photo,” the company says.

“People should do their own due diligence wherever possible before uploading photos or other personal data to a new website,” Moore said. Daily

“Most people wouldn’t question the possibility that simply uploading a photo would cause problems, but the amount of data captured under the radar can often be much more than what users intended, so security and privacy are not compromised,” he said. It can create data protection issues,” he added.

“Regardless of where they are based, I’m always careful when handing over sensitive data, as it’s virtually impossible to regain control over sensitive data once it’s gone,” he said.

They said the company would not share user information in any way not covered by their privacy policy, arguing that the photos are sent to Amazon servers where the effect is applied and that they are not displayed to anyone.

independent has contacted the app developer for comments.

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