AI换脸APP刷屏朋友圈后的隐忧 China's AI face-changing app goes viral, raising privacy concerns

China Plus Published: 2019-09-05 16:07:40
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A China's face-swapping app that allows users(用户 yònghù) to superimpose their own likeness over characters in movies or TV shows has rapidly become one of the country's most downloaded apps.

But it has also triggered concerns about the issue of privacy(隐私 yǐnsī).

This combination photo shows a user changing the face of Leonardo DiCaprio into his own in a film clip. [Photo: screenshot of Twitter user @AllanXia]

This combination photo shows a user changing the face of Leonardo DiCaprio into his own in a film clip. [Photo: screenshot of Twitter user @AllanXia]

Released(发布 fābù) on Friday, the Zao app went viral as Chinese users pounced on the chance to act out scenes from well-known movies. This is done using "deepfake" technology, which has already prompted concerns elsewhere over its potential misuse.

Users provide a series of selfies(自拍 zìpāi) in which they blink(眨眼 zhǎyǎn), open their mouths(张嘴 zhāngzuǐ) or assume other expressions(表情 biǎoqíng). The app will then realistically morph the person's animated likeness onto movies, TV shows or other similar content.

But this has also resulted in privacy concerns as the app's policy reportedly gave it "free, irrevocable, permanent, transferable, and re-licenseable" rights to all user-generated content(内容 nèiróng).

Apart from worrying that their personal information(信息 xìnxī) can be disclosed(泄露 xièlòu), users are also concerned that the app – through facial recognition(面部识别 miànbù shìbié) technology - can compromise(招致风险 zhāozhì fēngxiǎn) their online payment accounts(账号 zhànghào).

On Sunday, the app issued a statement pledging to modify its privacy policy. It also assured users that the app will not result in any compromise to their payment accounts.

The app has since changed its terms to ensure that it will not use headshots or videos uploaded by users other than to improve the app.

It also pledged to remove(移除 yíchú) from its servers(服务器 fúwùqì) any content(内容 nèiróng) that was uploaded but subsequently deleted(删除 shānchú) by users.

Zao is owned by Momo Inc., a Tinder-like Chinese dating service that is listed on the US Nasdaq.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spoke to the developer of the AI face-changing app on Wednesday.

The Ministry's department of network security said it demanded the company to adhere to(遵守 zūnshǒu) relevant laws regarding the collection(收集 shōují) of personal information. Apart from calling on the company to standardize its terms(条款 tiáokuǎn) of agreement(协议 xiéyì), it also made it clear that the company should do its utmost to ensure the protection of user data(数据 shùjù).

(Story includes material sourced from AFP.)

重点词汇 Key word:

换 <动词 v.>

  • Exchange; trade
    E.g. Xiànjīn yǒuxiē rén nìngyuàn yòng míngyù huànqǔ jīnqián.
    Nowadays some people would rather exchange fame for wealth.

  • Change; substitute
    E.g. Wǒmen zuì hǎo dài shàng huànxǐ yīfu.
    We'd better take a change of clothes with us.

  • Convert
    E.g. Wǒmen xūyào bǎ yīngbàng huàn chéng měiyuán.
    We need to convert Pounds into US dollars.

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