Security expert warns against using app to turn yourself into a cartoon character

Make sure you are aware of your security when uploading pictures. Pexels

The artificial intelligence artist app Voila allows people to turn their everyday photos into cartoon versions and though this may be tempting to do, security expert Ritesh Kotak told Global News it could also be threatening to your security as the app could be taking more than just your picture.

“If you had your location enabled when that photograph was taken, it will actually give you the latitude and longitude, in some cases, even the altitude of where that photo was taken, and that information gets uploaded to a server — in this case, the one run by this organization — and now they got access to that information,” Kotak said.

Voila states in its privacy policy that “we do not retain your sensitive personal information for longer than is required for the purposes for which the information may be lawfully used.”

“For any other content, we will entertain your request for deletion, however, there is a strong possibility that copies of any personal content will be retained indefinitely in our systems,” the policy says.

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“In addition due to the nature of the internet copies of your content, including content that you have removed or deleted from your account, may also exist elsewhere on the internet and can be retained indefinitely.”

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Many people all over the world have used this app to create cartoon versions of their pictures and shared them over various social media platforms.

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There is no evidence that this app is using the data for anything untoward but Kotak said people should be aware that their data is being shared and should know how to avoid any cyberattacks.

“If you are going to use these apps just be smart about it, don’t give them access to your entire photo album, ensure that you have all the privacy enabled features on, for example, make sure they’re not collecting your location.

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“I like to use separate email addresses and always use different passwords for different sites because we have seen sites in these apps get breached before and if you’re using the same username and password they might not be encrypting your password it might be in plain text and that’s it you’re getting breached.”

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Kotak added that if you follow these basic principles you can use these apps in a safe way and have some fun without being victimized by these privacy breaches.

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