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Popular FaceApp poses cybersecurity concerns

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KILLEEN, TX — The FaceApp mobile application allows users to transform their face to make it smile, look younger, look older or even change gender, but one particular feature is grabbing headlines.

Recently, the free old age filter ignited a full on challenge across the country with #FaceAppChallenge.

The application has sparked concerns from experts and users alike. Some shared the application presents security concerns and may give the company access to your personal information and identity.

Karla Perez and Alyssa Taylor saw posts about the #FaceAppChallenge and decided to hop on the bandwagon. "A lot of people are using it on social media to make themselves look old so we wanted to try it," said Taylor.

The FaceApp mobile phone application boasts about using Artificial Intelligence to transform your face, with just one tap.

"The application that Facebook supports which basically takes any user's picture current picture and try to apply some of those AI techniques to make a older version of the particular person," said Abhijit Nag, Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems at A&M Central Texas.

The application was launched by Russian company Wireless Lab two years ago. And recently, the free old age filter has sparked a full on challenge across the nation.

However, some people shared the application presents security concerns and may give the company access to your personal information and identity.

"Well this morning I read that it is doing something to take your information so I deleted immediately," said Perez.

Central Texas News Now decided to ask the experts their thoughts.

"It's kind of hard to say so generally when users give some permission to any particular app to access their sensitive information, face or facial image, you should also be careful about what level of access the particular app going to be granted in that particular scenario," said Nag.

What has people concerned about the application can be found in their terms of use agreement, which said in part "You grant FaceApp consent to use the User Content, regardless of whether it includes an individual's name, likeness, voice or persona."

"Yesterday, I downloaded because we were talking about it and I deleted it because it was asking me too many questions and I was like okay it's not that big of a deal," said Taylor.

"You can always check your app permission and if you think something is not right you can immediately uninstall that particular app," said Nag,

And when we asked Perez and Taylor if they planned on using the application anytime soon?

"'ll be a while," laughed Perez, "Well my husband tried it and he didn't look so hot."

Experts encourage people to read the terms of use and be cautious when downloading new applications.