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Is the Extremely Popular Social Media App, Lensa, Training AI?

The Lensa App is free to download on your phone and then costs $4 to upload a maximum of 20 “photos for editing.” The application has become increasingly popular as social media has “become flooded with people posting AI-generated selfies from the app’s latest feature.” Notably, over 4 million people worldwide downloaded the app within the first five days of December and spent over $8 million in download fees.

After a Lensa user provides 10-20 images of themselves, they receive 50 selfies “generated by the app’s artificial intelligence in a variety of art styles.” This face data, which includes position, orientation, and face topology, is harvested using Apple’s TrueDepth API — the same face-tracking capabilities that allow iPhone users to unlock their phones with their face just by looking at the screen. Currently the company reports that this data is not sold to third parties.

However, in addition, “Lensa’s privacy policy and terms of use stipulate, that the images users submit to generate their selfies, or rather the “Face Data,” can be used by Prisma AI, the company behind Lensa, to further train the AI’s neural network.”

“We have almost no statutory privacy protections in this country, and powerful institutions have been exploiting that for so long that we have begun to act as if it’s normal.”

So, what do you do if you want to use the application but ensure that your information is not being stored and used to train AI and future facial recognition technology? - Any user can opt out of that data collection by contacting the company at Experts also state that if you use an iOS device, you have the option to opt out through the device through your privacy settings.

To be fair, it’s not just Lensa: Experts report that the majority of applications on your phone are collecting more data than you are aware of. Another consideration would be that even if you trust the statements made by Lensa in regard to your personal data, “it’s quite possible for the data to change hands if the company is acquired in the future.” Which tends to happen when companies are acquired by larger organizations more adept at wordsmithing their way around how they talk about privacy and the collection of personal data,” according to a leading expert on AI and human rights, Ben Winters, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The laws and government, at any level, are not equipped to provide protection to you and your family. Only by possessing the knowledge and training to adequately protect your distinctive online attributes (DOAs), your personal information, will you increase the likelihood that you and your family will not be victims of cyber-crimes, regardless of what an organization does with the data they collect. Let the expert team at XposURe LLC provide you with the tools necessary to become your own best advocate.

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