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Home / Technology / Digital Fads As "Twinning" App is almost always bad for your privacy

Digital Fads As "Twinning" App is almost always bad for your privacy



Screenshot: Mike Epstein (Twinning)

It's a new year, people, but it's still a last data leak from 2018 we have to discuss. If you've spent time online over your vacation, you've probably seen someone on Facebook or Twitter by posting photos from Popsugar's Twinning app, which uses face recognition to tell you which celebrities you might be, a little bit like a little bit .

Oh, we're basically twins. I'll get it now!
Photo: Twinning

Guess what? The images (or images) that were submitted were leaked. You can find them using a Google Image search, or you can download them in bulk.

The leak, discovered by TechCrunch, occurred because of a poorly secured Amazon Web Services storage bucket, which made publishable user films published if you knew where to look. According to the report, the leak seems to have been plugged, so to speak, but the app has been out there for a while sooooo … I hope everyone likes the photos they sent!

So many publications have pointed out, this is the most minor of breaches of personal information. The only thing that was exposed was a file whose content was, in theory, to be published anyway. It's not an excuse, of course, users have expected the photos to be stored safely – but after living through Equifax hack in 2017 and the massive Facebook data breach reported in 2018, this leak is relatively small potatoes in comparison.

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On the other hand, Popsugar leakage should also be a reminder that there is always a risk that you share information online, even with a brand you knows about a fun, carefree purpose. Last year, hacker Inti De Ceukelaire revealed that a quiz app called NameTests exposed 120 million Facebook users personal data. Months later, Timehop, an app that prompts you to repost old photos from your social media, leaked private data from its 21 million users.

Even with apps from trusted companies, such as Google's "Arts and Culture" app and Microsoft's "How Old You Look" test, elevated privacy issues among people who are security-conscious users. Google and Microsoft have specifically said that they would not use images sent through these apps for other purposes, even though it has not stopped people from worrying about how otherwise their images may be used. These concerns are not unjustified: In 2017, digital security experts found that Meitu, a self-help virus photo filter app, recorded personal data that was not related to the app.

Unfortunately, the only advice I can really give you to avoid is this type of one-time program because you can be burned. In this sudden age, widespread data leaks, it feels like telling you not to go outside because you might be hit by a car crossing the street.

Then again Popsugar says that I look like Guy Fieri and I'm fucking furious. Forget it. Close everything down.


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