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Warning over Facebook New Profile Pic app going viral 'with links to Russia'

By Daniel Morrow

Facebook users are being warned against a New Profile Pic app going viral which is said to be collecting large amounts of data.

Security experts have warned against using the newly-viral app, which was initially registered in Russia, amid concerns that personal information could be compromised.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been sharing pictures on social media from the app New Profile Pic in recent days.

Users are asked to submit a high-quality photo of their face in return for an avatar - which is produced by AI technology - that looks like it has been hand drawn.

The app has been downloaded by millions of people across the globe, according Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store figures.

But the Daily Mail reports that Linerock Investments, the company behind the app, is reportedly based in an apartment complex next to the Russia's Ministry of Defence building in Moscow.

The privacy policy on the New Profile Pic app states that it collects some personal information - such as name, email address, user name, social network information and other information provided when voluntarily registering an account.

It also collects IP address data, browser type and settings from the device you have chosen to use.

A description of the New Profile Pic app says: “Create profile pictures that are always in tune with your mood.

“The world around us is fast-paced and always evolving. So why stick to one profile picture on your social media? Let it be different, always mew and made by AI.

“Surprise your friends with your ever-changing profile pic. Change your image as often as you want and draw even more attention with this amazing app that os ember out of new portrait ideas and technologies.

“Impress, stand out, and keep everyone interested in what’s coming next.”

People have been urged to be careful when agreeing to submit their images and any personal data to a new website, such as this one.

Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor at ESET Internet Security told the publication: “This app is likely a way of capturing people’s faces in high resolution and I would question any app wanting this amount of data, especially one which is largely unheard of and based in another country.”

He added: “Regardless of where they are based, I would always err on the side of caution when handing over sensitive data as once it has gone, it is virtually impossible to gain control of it back.”

A spokesperson for the company behind the app told the Daily Record: "We are a BVI company with development and customer support offices in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

“The top management of the company and the managers of the majority of the projects, including myself, are based out of these countries.

“All user photos are hosted and processed on the Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure servers, which are located outside the Russian Federation.

“The address on Moscow River is the address of lawyers who registered the company. We have never had an office there.

“It is true that the domain was registered to the Moscow address. It is the former Moscow address of the founder of the company. He does not live in the Russian Federation at the moment. By now the address has been changed in order to avoid any confusion.

“We did not and do not plan to have any affiliation with any governmental organisations of any country.

“As for users data, we do not keep and share any user information in a way that is not listed in our Privacy Policy. The NewProfilePic app does not store users' accounts or any personal data.”

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Dive Deeper:
Warning over Facebook New Profile Pic app with links to Russia
A cyber security expert has urged caution over giving the app access to your images and data
Facebook users warned over New Profile Pic app 'that has chilling links to Russia'
Major cyber security concerns have been raised within the tech security industry over the app
Facebook users warned over New Profile Pic app's links with Russia
A cyber security expert has urged people not to give the app access to your images and data
Warning over Facebook New Profile Pic app that has chilling links to Russia
The New Profile Pic app is reportedly sending data back to Moscow, Russia, with hundreds of thousands of people using…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Facebook users warned over new profile picture app with links to Russia
The new profile pic app is reported to be sending data back to Moscow, Russia, with hundreds of thousands of…
Warnings issued over New Profile Pic app initially registered in Russia collecting large amounts of personal data
‘Address on Moscow River is the address of lawyers who registered the company. We have never had an office there,’…
Get all your news in one place