Rutgers Scholar Available to Discuss FaceApp and Privacy Concerns

Expert Pitch

New Brunswick, N.J. (July 25, 2019) – Vivek Singh, a Rutgers University expert on the use of mobile devices for influencing human behavior, can comment on the privacy concerns related to FaceApp.

Singh said, “Experts are divided as to whether FaceApp exposes users’ photos to the app’s creators. But phone permissions typically allow access to “all” photos or “none.” Mobile devices don’t have an “only one photo” setting. So even if FaceApp is currently accessing only one photo, the potential exists for it to access others in the future.

“FaceApp is not the first app to collect personal data, nor will it be the last. Not long ago, users were surprised to learn that flashlight apps can access the phone’s location and personality test apps could collect data on users’ friends. Users should watch out for the next such app. As the saying goes, ‘If you're not paying for it, you are the product.’”

Singh, a professor at Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s School of Communication and Information, directs the university’s Behavioral Informatics Lab which focuses on the realms of big data analytics, computational social science and multimedia information systems. 

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