The Potential Risks of Using Lensa AI and Other Self-Portrait Apps

It’s common to stumble upon stunning CGI pictures of your friends on social media and wonder how to create one for yourself. With the advancement of filters and self-portrait apps, you can transform into a Hollywood-worthy animated character with “perfect” hair, skin, and facial features, while still resembling your true self.

One of the latest self-portrait apps making the rounds is Lensa AI. By uploading ten photos, the app uses its AI algorithm to map your facial features and generate several fantasy selfies of you. However, the magic doesn’t come for free. While you can download and use the free app in a limited capacity, you must pay to access its full features. To get unlimited access for one week costs $2.99, with pricing tiers ranging from $3.99 for Avatars Pack 1 up to $35.99 for full membership.

While it may seem harmless digital fun, companies that develop apps like Lensa AI want you to indulge in vanity and ignore the potential cost to your data privacy rights. Using these apps may give up more than you realize, as the data collected can extend far beyond the app itself.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Your Data Privacy When Using Lensa AI & Similar Apps?

Thanks to regulations like GDPR, software and app developers are required to disclose how they handle your data. However, some concerning aspects come to light when you examine Lensa AI on the Mac App Store.

Tracking Your Data with Lensa AI and Similar Apps

When you download an app like Lensa AI, it may track your phone activity. The app store indicates that the app can use unique identifiers and purchases to track you. This tracking may not be limited to your activity within the Lensa AI app but could extend to your activity across other websites and apps owned by different companies. This raises concerns about your data privacy and how your information may be used without your knowledge or consent.

Data Collected by Lensa AI

Lensa AI collects various data points from your device upon downloading the app, which requires your permission. Some of this data is directly linked to your identity, such as your name, IP address, or phone number, while other data is collected anonymously. Data linked to you: User-generated content, such as the images you upload Data collected but not linked to you: Purchase data from websites or apps Usage data for other apps and services Identifiers, such as location or gender (although this is not specified) Diagnostic data from your device

Limited Rights to Your Uploaded Images

When using apps like Lensa AI, you must be aware of the potential loss of rights to your data. Tech companies have a history of being vague in their terms and conditions, leaving users vulnerable to data misuse. One section from the Lensa AI Terms of Service that users agree to includes the following: “…solely for the purposes of operating or improving Lensa, you grant us a time-limited, revocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, create derivative works of your User Content, without any additional compensation to you…” This means that for the sole purpose of “operating or improving” Lensa, the company has a limited right to use your images without paying additional compensation to you. While it does not give Lensa AI the right to use your images for any other purpose, it is necessary to note that the license is “time-limited” and “sub-licensable”, leaving the possibility for your data to be used by third parties.

Steps to Protect Your Data Privacy

Don’t Jump on Every App Trend

It can be tempting to join in on the latest app craze when you see all your friends using it. However, take a moment to consider the risks. Wait a week before downloading any new app to see if any privacy issues emerge. The novelty will often have worn off, and you will be glad you didn’t give away your data for a fad.

Review App Terms & Conditions

Reviewing the terms and conditions of any app you download is crucial. Take the time to read through them carefully and make sure you understand what you are agreeing to. You may be giving up more data privacy rights than you realize, including allowing the app to track almost everything you do on your device. By being aware of the risks before downloading a new app, you can make more informed decisions about protecting your data privacy.

Limit Data Collection

If you still want to use an app, take steps to limit the amount of data it can collect about you. This includes using your phone’s privacy and security settings to turn off data-sharing features whenever possible. For Lensa AI, you can also reach out to the company and request that they delete your data from their servers. According to their privacy policy, you can email for any questions or concerns regarding your data.

Get a Device Privacy Checkup

The more apps you use, the more complex data privacy becomes. Don’t leave it to chance. Give Qamba a call today to schedule a device privacy checkup.

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