Is it safe to use the Reface app?

Is it safe to use the Reface app?

If you have been on Facebook recently, you may have noticed your timeline is flooded with Aquaman video clips. If you look closely you notice that instead of Jason Momoa as Aquaman it is now one of your Facebook friends. This is done using an app called Reface which is available on both the Android and iOS stores.

But is it safe? What does Reface do with your info?

I dug into their Terms and Conditions as I assume you haven’t (you’re welcome) and here are some highlights that I thought were interesting. Note: I am NOT a legal representative so this is just my personal view. 

Who is RefaceApp?

You are creating a binding contract with NeoCortext, Inc has a US address, 300 Delaware Ave Ste 210-A, Wilmington, New Castle, 19801Delaware State, United States, registration number 226991. The parent company is AI company. It seems they use GAN (generative adversarial networks) in order to reconstruct your face and expressions.

Pretty cool tech!

What’s did you agree to in the Reface Terms and Conditions?

The last amended to the Terms and Conditions at the time fo this post was: August 7, 2020 and the following is in there:

You may NOT use the system for any commercial purposes. It is just there for a bit of fun, but you can not earn any revenue in any form from the content the system produces. So for anyone thinking of uploading this to YouTube or Instagram to earn some ad revenue, that is a no-no.

“REFACE reserves the right to use the content (pictures, icons, photos, GIFs or videos) from Google Video, Bing Video or other publicly available sources”  They do go on to explain that the “The original materials are used in a new unanticipated way, namely the visual results of the materials’ use create the completely new GIFs or videos, which are inherently of parodic nature”

In other words Fair Use? I wonder what happens if you put your face on an image that is copyrighted by a brand such as Disney? Are you responsible as it’s your face and you are distributing it on your social media?

Oh, that question was answered further down:

“You hereby acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the Uploaded content and Generated content, as well as any consequences of publicly posting and sharing such content, including, but not limited to any claims, costs, losses, damages, expenses, judgments, any other possible conflicts, disputes, contretemps or issues arising out of or related to your content.”

So you are putting your face on a clip that the company allows you to but YOU are responsible for any issues. Got it.

“The Uploaded and the Generated content is your intellectual property” oh good…”Except for the license you grant below” ahhh darn….

“You hereby grant REFACE a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use in any way, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, and distribute Uploaded and Generated content. This license is for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, and improving the Services, and displaying Uploaded content in the library for the User’s repeated use.”

So it seems that you are handing over your face and the company may use it in any way including “adapt, edit, publish, and distribute”

But wait. There is more:

“you also grant us a perpetual license to create derivative works from, exhibit, broadcast, publicly perform, and publicly display the Generated content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods.”

That’s a FIRM NO from me.

So in summary:

It must be noted that similar terms are in many of our apps, so this is not unique by any means.  Check out this infographic showing the terms of service of the most popular apps – its no wonder we don’t take time to go through it all…

terms of service visualised

Should you use the app and is it safe? That is up to you. If you are happy to accept these terms, then go for it. I personally have an issue with willingly putting my face into an app and while I know my face is out there already, its very different when I expressly agree for any company to use.

Also, check out Likee, the app you haven’t heard about, but your kids have!


Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter