So we all know FaceApp is sketchy. But uniquely sketchy? Not so fast.
While there’s something decidedly unpleasant about realizing only too late that the app on your phone is too invasive for your liking, here’s the thing: Pretty much all popular free apps are invasive to some degree. In fact, many of the free applications you likely have on your smartphone have privacy policies that make FaceApp’s look good.
Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look. A stroll over to app analytics service App Annie shows the top free apps, by downloads, on iPhones and Androids around the world. Narrowing the search field down to just the U.S., and focusing solely on today, gives us a snapshot of the app-downloading ecosystem.
FaceApp is still standing strong in the top 10 of free downloads for both the iPhone and from the Google Play store, but it’s the other apps we’re looking at today.
“If you log into the App using a third party site or platform such as Facebook, Apple Game Center and Google Sign-In, we access information about you from that site or platform, such as your screen name, profile information and friend lists[.]”
Have anything private in your Facebook profile? Maybe you shouldn’t.
Starting to get the picture?
Essentially, all free apps hoover up a distressingly large amount of users’ personal data. Some definitely have better privacy polices than others, and there’s not always something nefarious going on, but getting shocked about FaceApp’s perceived transgressions misses the forest for the trees.
The online ecosystem, and most of the apps it encompasses, is tracking you in some way or another. So think twice before downloading that next free app — you future self will thank you.