FACEAPP’S privacy policies have improved in the past year, the National Privacy Commission said when it reassessed the popular editing application after cybersecurity experts flagged the risks of uploading personal images.

In a statement on Thursday, the commission said it had again assessed the app on June 23 after an initial assessment in August 2019. It said the app had improved its privacy policy by providing legal basis to process personal data and specifying data subject rights.

This came after Computer Professionals’ Union, which describes itself as an organization of information and communications technology practitioners, reportedly warned the public against using the application, saying that the terms of the company behind it allow its use of images uploaded by users.

“Do not be afraid to explore new technologies but use it with caution. Report abuse if any,” Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said.

“The public must not immediately give in to privacy panics. Rather, we should read and learn how to analyze privacy notices and policies. Ask yourself, is the app and developer being fair by providing choices and notices? These privacy notices are the window to transparency on how companies and developers will protect your data and rights.”

The privacy body said that the 2020 version of the app gives users the ability to opt out of sharing personal information and receiving targeted online advertising.

The commission added that the app no longer requires users to disclose their mobile phone number and Facebook login information.

Feedback like comments and creative materials given to FaceApp can still be used by the company royalty-free. The commission said that these materials are not covered by the Data Privacy Act as long as they do not lead to the identity of an individual. — Jenina P. Ibañez