Gradient: Is the celebrity lookalike app safe?

App also allows users ability to change their skin tones 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Friday 18 October 2019 18:49 BST
Gradient: is the celebrity lookalike app safe?

An app that tells you what celebrity you look like is the latest viral face recognition trend.

Gradient Photo Editor offers a few different features, but the main one attracting users is the celebrity Doppelganger feature, where users can upload a picture of themselves and see which famous faces they most resemble.

Currently ranked the number-one top free app, despite it charging you around $20 a month after the initial three-day trial, the app has become popular seemingly overnight.

Similar to FaceApp, which allowed users to see how they might look when they get older, people are keenly sharing their results online, including celebrities themselves.

In addition to the Kardashian sisters and Scott Disick, who indicated that they’d used the app as part of a sponsorship deal by posting #Ad on Instagram, the app’s results have also been shared by Diplo and countless other people on social media.

But as with the hugely popular ageing app, users are now left wondering - is Gradient safe?

According to Gradient’s terms of use, the app “does not claim ownership of Your Content that you upload or stylise through the Service".

However, it then goes on to state: "You hereby grant to Gradient a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use Your Content to provide our Service, subject to the Privacy Policy."

The app is created by a developer called Ticket to the Moon Inc, but little is known about the company, or whether it has developed any other facial recognition software.

As pointed out by Mic: "The app's terms of use discloses the company's address at a location in Delaware, but a quick Google search of that address brings up an international investment firm called Meihua Capital Partners LLC instead of Ticket to the Moon."

Following the initial widespread popularity of FaceApp, it was discovered that the photos uploaded to the app could be used for other purposes by the app's creators. At the time, the app attempted to ease concerns over user privacy, explaining that photos are uploaded to the cloud to improve "performance and traffic", rather than for other potential uses.

The app developer, which is based in Russia, also explained that while the app may have access to photos on a person's device, it only uploads the selected picture to the cloud.

FaceApp: privacy warning issued over app letting users turning themselves old

While it may be fun to see which celebrity you resemble, it is also important to be wary of where you upload photos of yourself.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in