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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The creators of ZAO, the app that makes you DiCaprio, apologize and update the privacy terms

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

A few months ago an application appeared that generated hundreds of headlines and a lot of expectation in social networksDeepNude. This app “undressed” women through artificial intelligence and, after thousands of downloads, its creators decided to close it.

These days we are living a similar expectation, with an application called ZAOIt has been created in China, and its main attraction is that it can transform you into other people (for example, famous actors or actresses) in a few seconds.

Millions of downloads in a weekend

Some users claim that it is “the best Deepfakes application” they have seen to date. As we can see in the lower tweet, it is able to place your face in scenes starring Leonardo DiCaprio and that the result is quite credible:

As we see, it is a really striking app, and has achieved millions of downloads in just one weekend ( it has been placed on the top of the App Store in China). Anyway, this application has reopened many debates about privacy and the use of tools such as ZAO with so much data.

In fact, as we can read in Bloomberg, when installing and starting the application, the user gives ZAO owners “free, irrevocable, permanent, transferable and reusable rights” over all created content.

Obviously, an application created in China that is able to scan your face perfectly and that becomes the owner of this type of information does not sound too reassuring.

The company decided to react quickly, updating the terms of service to clarify that they would only use images to improve the application or for purposes that users have accepted beforehand.

Its creators have also committed to removing material from servers if a user decides to remove it from the application. Through an entry in Weibo, its creators wanted to clarify the concerns of many of its users:

“We fully understand the anxiety that concerns privacy concerns. We have received the questions that have been sent to us. We will correct the areas we had not considered and that require some time.”

These apologies are a bit late for many users, and currently ZAO has a pretty negative score in the App Store (currently has a 1.6 out of 5).

At the moment, the case of ZAO is quite similar to that of FaceApp: an app that got millions of downloads and reminded us that “when the product is free, the product is you.”

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