AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter the past few days, you’ve probably seen some of your friends and followers upload new profile pictures of themselves in cartoon form.
They are created using a new free application, but there are serious concerns about the origin of this application.
We took a look at the new photo app to answer the question: is it safe?
In case you haven’t been on Facebook in the past few days, the ‘NewProfilePic’ app creates cartoonish versions of profile pictures. They are cool and hundreds of thousands of people use it.
Everyone else warns their friends that the app steals personal information and sends it to the Russians. Some users claim that it caused their credit card bill to spike.
Here’s what we learned. The application comes from a company, some developers of which are located in Russia. The Linerock company is behind at least 50 other photo editing apps.
There is no evidence that he shares any other information with Russia or any other country. It uses artificial intelligence to put together what you look like. But the app claims it removes that
information after creating the photo. There is also no evidence that it charges your credit card, Google or Apple without authorization.
Where do these warnings come from? The British tabloid “The Daily Mail” published the report, and it is being shared by other news outlets.
This report, like the app, went viral. None of the claims made by the tabloid or their “experts” have been verified. How does this free app make money for the company? Through advertisements that play while you use it. Also, people who sign up for a free trial and forget to cancel. They are charged $30.
So is it safe to use? We’ll put it this way: if you’ve uploaded a photo or signed up to use another free app in the past, that app won’t collect more of your data than you’ve already shared.
It’s a fun app and you probably don’t have to worry about it.
We reached out to Linerock for more information on the application, but we are still awaiting a response. On its blog, the company states that it does not share information with Russia and deletes the photos after creating the cartoon image.
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.