“By using this application, we grant FaceApp (and whoever they give access to their database) freedom to access our personal digital likeness and permission to use it for their purposes,” it added.
AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev
Are celebrities as vulnerable to FaceApp privacy concerns?
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - June 25, 2020 - 12:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — Cybersecurity organizations time and again have warned mobile users against the security risks posed by surrendering data, including photos, to popular applications like the recently trending FaceApp.

Related: Experts warn vs privacy risks of FaceApp

Such potential threats, however, always manage to circumvent public suspicion due to short-lived fads that still see countless willing participants each time.

In the Philippines, celebrities and their fans have unwillingly fallen prey to privacy concerns over the use of FaceApp for filters with cool effects like aging and gender-swapping.

The Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU) exposed the dangers of FaceApp and juxtaposed these with the surge in dummy social media accounts over the past month.

“By using this application, we grant FaceApp (and whoever they give access to their database) freedom to access our personal digital likeness and permission to use it for their purposes,” the organization said, citing specific provisions in the applications’ privacy policy.


“We need to be cautious of the digital footprints and personal information that we provide various social media platforms and other types of services online. This applies not only to FaceApp, but also to other third party apps that mine our information. We must realize that giving the people and organizations behind them permission to gather and use our personal information means that we do pay for their services - not in cash but at the cost of our attention, privacy, and security.”

CPU reminded users to be responsible and mindful not just of their own security, but of others as well.

“We remind everyone that security is not only an individual concern, as our lapses could compromise our colleagues, friends and loved ones. Be vigilant in disclosing information, regardless of the applications and platforms you use.”


Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, who himself has been subject to gender-swapping without his consent, has clarified that he is not upset with his supporters for doing so but urged them to be vigilant.

“Nakakatuwa siya. Hindi po ako naiinis. Pero kung babasahin niyo 'yung thread na ni-quote ko makikita niyo kung bakit may pangamba ang iba sa mga app katulad nito. Data could be used by people with bad intentions.”

He then succinctly answered how celebrities and public figures are technically not against a new enemy, but a more efficient mechanism that targets ordinary citizens as well.

A quick cursory search shows that even news sites worldwide have resorted to using FaceApp on famous people for content.

“The way it appears to me, apps like #FaceApp don't pose a NEW danger. It's not that difficult to get/steal pictures and data from people. The scary thing is the speed and scale at which they can now do it, while we unknowingly help them.”



To give you a brief glimpse of the magnitude of FaceApp, here’s a list of celebrities who have seen themselves transformed at their own or other’s behest.

Daniel Matsunaga


OMG ???????????? ????????????????????????????????

A post shared by Daniel Kenji Matsunaga (@dandanmatsunaga) on

Enrique Gil

JM De Guzman


kahit maputi na ang buhok ko.. ????????

A post shared by JM De Guzman (@1migueldeguzman) on

Liza Soberano

Maris Racal


stiLL weAriNG thE smiLE YoU gAvE mE

A post shared by Maris Racal (@mariesteller) on

Yassi Pressman

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