Momo-Owned ‘Deep Fake’ App Faces Privacy Storm

A Chinese face-swapping app is facing severe backlash over privacy concerns after it went viral over the weekend.

Owned by Momo, Zao lets users convincingly add their face to video clips from some of their favourite movies and television shows. There are currently only a limited number of scenes available but accurate results can be produced with just one selfie.

According to App Annie it has been at the top of the Chinese iOS Store’s free app rankings since Sunday.

However, the app’s privacy policy came under fire when a tweet drew more attention to the product.

According to the terms and conditions, Zao and Momo have “free, irrevocable, permanent, transferable, and relicenseable” rights to all of the content that is generated on the app.

This immediately sparked worries that the pictures of users were being sold to third parties and prompted a flurry of negative reviews on the app store.

Developers reacted quickly and issued a statement saying: “We understand the concerns about privacy. We’ve received the feedback, and will fix the issues that we didn’t take into consideration, which will take some time.”

They also assured that from now on content within the app would only be used by the team to improve it.

Momo is only just on the comeback after a difficult period at the start of the summer. It was forced to temporarily shutdown its news feed section, after the Chinese government raised concerns about moderation policies.

The dating and livestreaming company reported positive financial results last week and has seen its stock price rise by 25% since early August.

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Dominic Whitlock

Dominic is the Editor for Global Dating Insights. Originally from Devon, England he achieved a BA in English Language & Linguistics from The University of Reading. He enjoys a variety of sports and has a further passion for film and music.

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