Get your privacy straight

18 July 2019

With the recent buzz around the FaceApp application which ages your pictures or the previous boy/girl filters from Snapchat, I was really amused by the recent reactions.

First, the French newspaper Le Monde wants to remind us that the company behind FaceApp, Wireless Lab, does not care about GDPR - more on that later - and will keep all pictures sent to the application to their Cloud infrastructure in Russia. Actually, I didn’t even find this news, someone from my family did.

The newspaper is really concerned, and consequently tells its readers to be really concerned as well, about the fact that our face is now on Russian servers.

Thing is, I care about my privacy, like most of us. But I can’t help but think that we all already share our data with, at least, American servers: biometric data (facial and voice recognition, fingerprints), web browsing history, purchase records, real time geolocation, emails, messages, calls, where you work, go on vacations, what you like, what are your political views, pictures of our children before they can even recognise themselves, or before they are even born, etc. But image is so important to us that we seem to only care about our face.

Also, after digging a bit, I’ve discovered that TechCrunch already got a statement from the Russian company. I’m no GDPR expert but from what they say, everything seems fine: 48h data expiration from their servers, clear data processing explanations, etc. Not related to GDPR but it also seems that the servers processing the data are AWS ones, not running in Russia…

I agree with one of the comments I’ve read online: what a waste of journalistic time to cover those falsely alarming topics. Meanwhile, we live in an era where we are all willing to concede our privacy to ease our life, or so we think.