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Facebook users warned over new profile picture app with links to Russia

Chronicle Live logo Chronicle Live 11/05/2022 Laura Sharman & Aaron Morris

Facebook users have been warned over a new Profile Picture application, which is alleged to be sending data back to Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of users of the platform have been updating their existing photographs by using the new app, in what has been a widespread recent trend. The app then modifies the uploaded photograph, creating a new image that can be shared directly to social media.

However, many are unaware that their information is in-turn being shared with a company that is registered in Moscow, Russia, in a time where tensions are turbulent in Eastern Europe - The Mirror reports.

Read more: Wallsend man's terror for wife in Ukraine who heard 'explosions' near her home as Russia invaded

Linerock Investments, the firm behind the app, is based next to the Russian Ministry of Defence three miles outside Red square, according to Mail Online. Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor, ESET Internet Security told the publication: "This app is likely a way of capturing people's faces in high resolution.

"I would question any app wanting this amount of data, especially one which is largely unheard of and based in another country."

Tens of thousands are believed to have used the software © Mirror Tens of thousands are believed to have used the software

The app uses facial recognition technology to find key points on an image of your face uploaded to the servers and then renders a new version. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Offshore Leaks database, Linerock is registered in Moscow and has a Russian director.

The app can be downloaded to your device, and allows the sending of data including your location and access to other social media images on your feeds. The company's data policy states 'we collect certain personal information that you voluntarily provide to us'.

It adds: "We collect your name, email address, user name, social network information and other information you provide when you register."

The app is number one in photos on the Apple app store and has been rated 25,000 times on Google Play.

Users have been warned to be incredibly careful when uploading photos or personal data © Mirror Users have been warned to be incredibly careful when uploading photos or personal data

A spokesperson told MailOnline: "We are a BVI company with development offices in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus," and said they do not share any user information in a way that is not listed in their privacy policy.

They said images are sent to Amazon servers to apply the effects, are not visible to anybody and are deleted after two weeks.

Have you used the new social media app? Let us know what you think about it.

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