Many people are currently using an app with a gender swap feature and sharing their results online for fun. However, there are security concerns about this Russian-developed app and users may have their personal information leaked due to their usage.
Kuomintang Legislator Chiang Wan-an, Vice President William Lai, and politician Wu Yi-nong are among the political figures whose photos have been put through an app with a gender swap feature. This app first gained popularity last year for a face-aging feature, and it recently launched a gender swap feature. Many people are sharing the results online. Experts say there are security concerns with this Russian-developed app and usage may result in the leakage of personal information.
Last year, a U.S. senator raised the alarm about FaceApp, saying the Russian government has the authority to access the servers of any Russian company and the information they contain.
National Taiwan University professor Tsungnan Lin says it was previously discovered that this app stores the information of users. Although the developer offered an explanation, doubts persist. Another issue is that the app offers a trial period of three days, and then automatically charges users for a subscription. Many people who didn't read the fine print have been charged. Consumer protection officers say users need to inform themselves about related costs before downloading apps or remember to cancel subscriptions.
If you don't press the button to cancel your subscription, then it will charge you for a subscription once the trial period is over. The subscription is charged on an annual basis. You might be unable to get a refund later on.
Taipei City Chief Consumer Protection Officer Yang Li-ping says this app's developer is foreign and it's difficult to get refunds. Even if users file complaints with Apple's App Store or Google Play, the possibility of the dispute being resolved is not high. People therefore need to inform themselves of the provisions and risks of using these types of apps.
台大資訊安全技術中心主任 林宗男表示：「Face App，這個App在去年的時候，就有美國的國會議員，提出這個個資的警訊。原因在於說，俄羅斯政府，可以隨意地取得，俄羅斯公司裡面的伺服器，跟主機裡面的資訊。」
楊麗萍表示這款軟體，開發商在海外，退費申訴不易，即便轉向App Store或Google Play平台投訴，由於僅是軟體下載管道，消費糾紛解決度也不高，所以民眾使用覺得好玩有趣時，也一定要注意相關規定和風險。