You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application.

FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender.

The terms include this statement: “You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.”

The union, in a member alert, noted Friday on its web site that the app’s privacy policy has attracted criticism recently.

“The terms of use include language granting them unrestricted permission to use any content you submit through the app (which includes your photos) in any manner and in any media they choose,” SAG-AFTRA noted. “This permission includes commercial uses, continues forever and cannot be revoked. They also have the right to use your name and likeness together with your content — and the use of your likeness is not contractually limited to just the photo you upload.”

The union warned that the terms of use represent an overly broad grant of rights, particularly for SAG-AFTRA members, who are public figures who make their living from the commercialization of their likenesses.

“It also puts SAG-AFTRA members at heightened risk of image-based abuse, such as in deepfakes,” the union said. “In addition to the broad grant of rights, the terms of use include language waiving your right to sue FaceApp for any possible claim. And experts have raised concerns that the app has access to more content and data on your phone than they disclose.”

SAG-AFTRA said members should always read the terms of use and privacy policy of any website or app, particularly if they are providing information or content,  to understand what rights are being granting.

“Until FaceApp dramatically improves its terms of services, we advise members to think very carefully and understand the risks before using its product,” the union concluded.

“SAG-AFTRA believes it is inappropriate for any app or internet company to adopt boilerplate terms of service language such as this that allows it to harvest, manipulate and exploit a user’s likeness for purposes unrelated to providing the applicable service without obtaining their meaningful consent.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

  • Tim Connolly - Quibi

    Quibi Head of Partnerships and Advertising Tim Connolly Departs

    Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, is leaving the mobile TV subscription startup founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Connolly’s exit comes eight months ahead of Quibi’s planned April 2020 debut. A Quibi rep declined to comment on his departure, which was first reported by Business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content