Face-chang­ing app ZAO re­vises sub­scriber terms af­ter users raise fears on pri­vacy

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE -

ZAO, a face-chang­ing app pow­ered by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI), apol­o­gized on Tues­day for a con­tro­ver­sial user agree­ment that led cus­tomers to worry about abuse of pri­vacy and ex­po­sure to crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

“We have been re­flect­ing on this and re­vis­ing the app for the past two days. We failed to ad­dress is­sues that are of core pub­lic con­cern… ZAO will not store per­sonal fa­cial bi­o­log­i­cal recog­ni­tion in­for­ma­tion,” ZAO said in a post on its Weibo ac­count. It vowed to pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive pro­tec­tion of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and of­fer full data se­cu­rity.

The app, de­vel­oped by Chi­nese dat­ing app Momo, al­lows users to up­load self­ies and swap them with celebri­ties’ faces on video clips from films and TV dra­mas.

The app gained pop­u­lar­ity over the week­end, but many users had sec­ond thoughts about the use of per­sonal por­traits, based on the app’s orig­i­nal user agree­ment.

Some users sug­gested that crim­i­nals and scammers might use the por­traits for il­le­gal pur­poses.

Un­der the orig­i­nal agree­ment, if a sub­scriber granted per­mis­sion to ZAO, the app could store pho­tos and use them for free glob­ally. The per­mis­sion could not be with­drawn and had no time limit.

The agree­ment also gave ZAO re­li­cens­ing and us­age rights for por­traits, and these rights weren’t lim­ited to fa­cial pho­tos, pic­tures, videos or edited ver­sions.

ZAO said on Tues­day that if users deleted their in­for­ma­tion or can­celed their ac­counts, the app would delete the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion based on rel­e­vant reg­u­la­tions and rules.

It said in the state­ment that us­ing the app won’t lead to any pay­ment risks.

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