It's an all too common theme. You see these stunning CGI images from friends on Facebook or Instagram and you often wonder, "How do I make one?"
Filters and self-portraits have come a long way, now enabling you to make yourself look like a Hollywood star in animated films. It may look just like you, but with perfect hair, skin, and facial features that could only be created through computer technology.
Lensa AI is the newest vanity marvel. To use its AI algorithm, Lensa AI requires users to upload around 10 photos. After mapping their facial features, the app generates fantasy selfies based on those uploaded.
Unfortunately, these captivating avatars come at a cost. While you can download the app free of charge and use it for a limited time, paying is necessary to unlock more features - $2.99 gets unlimited access for one week at $2.99/day. Various pricing tiers exist for avatar packs and membership access; prices range from $3.99-$35.99 for Avatars Pack 1 up to $35.99 full membership.
This may appear to be just harmless digital entertainment. Unfortunately, many companies creating apps like this think the same thing - selling vanity is easy and who wouldn't love a great profile picture?
Lensa AI and other similar self-portrait apps may come at a higher price point than you expect. The data privacy rights that you forfeit in exchange for using these applications can have far reaching effects that go far beyond just what the app can do for you.
Lensa AI and Similar Apps: Why Be Worried About Data Privacy?
Software and app developers must inform you about what they do with your data in accordance with GDPR laws, so a few things stand out when looking at the Mac App Store app.
Data Used to Track You
Once installed, Lensa AI app can track your phone activity. According to the app store, this is done through unique identifiers and purchases made within the app. However, please be aware that Lensa AI doesn't stop there; they also track on other websites and apps.
Lensa AI scans your device for various data points. You download it and give consent for this to happen. Some tracking links may be linked directly to you (e.g., name, IP address or number); however, other collected information does not contain your identity or any identifiers.
- Data Collected and Connected to Your Account:
- User content (such as images that you upload)
- Data Collected but Not Connected to Your Identity:
- Website or app purchases
- Usage data for apps, etc.
- Identifiers (which could include gender or city) (this term isn't specific).
- Benefit directly from your device with direct access to diagnostic information.
Loss of Rights on Your Uploaded Images
It is unclear what applications such as Lensa AI do with user data. Facebook has become notorious for being careless with user privacy, leaving many tech companies open to interpretations of their terms and conditions. Many leave the door open for interpretation by third-party contractors.
LensaAI Terms section that users agree to includes:
Lensa requires your exclusive consent to use, reproduce, modify and distribute your User Content without charging you additional compensation. You grant us this limited, revocable and royalty-free worldwide licence to do so at our discretion.
Lensa can be defined as anything done solely to generate revenue. This could include using your images for their business operations in order to make more money; additionally, they have the right to modify and distribute any user content they choose.
There are steps you can take to safeguard your data privacy.
Do not get carried away with every trend
It can be tempting to want to join in when all your friends are using the same app. While it's normal to want to be part of something new, wait a week - chances are those avatar images from the latest selfie app won't appear in your feed until after one week has passed.
Please Read the App Terms and Conditions
Before installing any app, be sure to thoroughly read through its terms and conditions. You may be giving up more privacy rights than you realize by granting apps access to virtually everything on your phone. Be mindful of potential risks before installing a new program.
Restrict Data Collection
Don't let the app's allure fool you! Make sure it is as secure as possible and take the time to limit its data collection capabilities, where applicable.
Do You Need a Device Privacy Checkup?
Data privacy can become more intricate the more apps you install. Don't leave it to chance - contact us today to arrange a privacy checkup for your device.