Zao requires users to sign up with their phone numbers and then upload their pictures taken with the selfie camera. In the next step, users can choose between a wide selection of videos of celebrities and superimpose their face. The video can then be shared with friends. The app includes celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Marilyn Monroe.
The privacy concerns were raised once the app went viral.
One section of the user agreement stated that consumers who upload their images to ZAO agree to surrender the intellectual property rights to their face, and permit ZAO to use their images for marketing purposes.
In case you haven't heard, #ZAO is a Chinese app which completely blew up since Friday. Best application of 'Deepfake'-style AI facial replacement I've ever seen.
Here's an example of me as DiCaprio (generated in under 8 secs from that one photo in the thumbnail) 🤯 pic.twitter.com/1RpnJJ3wgT
— Allan Xia (@AllanXia) September 1, 2019
Zao has responded to Reuters and says that it needs some time to address the concerns. The company said “We have received the questions you have sent us. We will correct the areas we have not considered and required some time.”
The app was uploaded on China’s iOS App Store on Friday and it immediately became viral. Apparently the overwhelming response crashed Zao’s servers. As of Sep1, Zao topped the list as the most-downloaded free app in Chinese iOS App Store. Last time, similar privacy concerns were raised about FaceApp, an app that used AI to show how you would look several years from now. The developer quickly confirmed that photos were uploaded for processing on clouds and were deleted after 48 hours. The bottom line, think twice before sharing your pictures or other details on any app.