THE National Privacy Commission (NPC) asked the public to exercise caution in the use of an artificial intelligence (AI)-supported application that renders user photographs in the style of retro yearbook portraits.

“While the AI Yearbook trend itself may seem harmless, it is essential for individuals using the application to be cautious about the privacy implications it may pose,” the commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We encourage responsible data handling and privacy protection in all online activities,” it added.

The AI Yearbook photos are shareable on social media and require in-app purchases.

The app behind the trend is known as EPIK — AI Photo Editor, developed by SNOW Corp.

The NPC added that it will “continue to observe and assess this trend to ensure that personal data is being handled in compliance with Data Privacy Act and our issuances.”

The Data Privacy Act aims to protect and secure personal data in information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector.

The data safety section of the EPIK application on Google Play Store claims no user data is shared with third parties.

However, it collects data such as name and user identification for account management and photos and videos for functionality and developer communications.

It added that the developer provides users a way to request for their data to be deleted.  — Justine Irish D. Tabile