A cautionary article highlighting the cybersecurity risks associated with AI-powered photo apps and the importance of safeguarding personal data.

AI Photo App Craze: NBI Issues Urgent Cybersecurity Warning Amidst Rising Threats and Privacy Concerns

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has raised a red flag, cautioning the public about the potential dangers of engaging with trending AI-powered photo apps amidst escalating cybersecurity threats. The warning, issued by the NBI’s Western Visayas division, specifically calls attention to an anonymous app that demands users to upload ten photos to generate enhanced portraits. Despite its seemingly benign and entertaining facade, the NBI underscores this AI-driven app harbors substantial privacy and security risks.

“This app does not only [compile] the data submitted by its users but also creates a digital persona that replicates the way a real individual speaks and moves,” the NBI stated, emphasizing the potential for malicious exploitation. The bureau has recently been alerted to instances where such AI-powered photo editing apps have been weaponized for identity theft and various scams.

The NBI is rallying the public to unite in safeguarding personal data, urging vigilance to ensure that confidential information remains “safe.” “Let us all work together to protect our personal information and stay safe in the digital world,” the bureau implored.

Echoing these concerns, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has also advised caution, particularly about the trending yearbook photo craze, highlighting the “privacy implications” it entails. Roren Marie M. Chin, the chief of NPC’s Public Information and Assistance Division, assured that the commission is actively monitoring and evaluating this trend to ensure compliance with the Data Privacy Act.

While the AI yearbook trend itself may seem harmless, it is essential for individuals using the application to be cautious about the privacy implications it may pose,” Chin remarked, emphasizing the importance of vigilance.

Adding to the context, the Epik app, a popular choice among users for its nostalgic effects, is marketed as an “all-in-one photo editing app” developed by Snow Corporation. The app on Google Play boasts features such as enhancing photo clarity and resolution, correcting blemishes through AI technology, and isolating figures, objects, and animals in photos.

Despite its popularity, especially among Filipino celebrities, the app raises essential questions about data privacy and security, underscoring the need for users to remain cautious and informed.

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