Russia wants your personal data, and Putin and friends continue to come up with new and creative ways of obtaining it.
America, meet the NewProfilePic app.
The app offers users a free digital avatar and takes facial-recognition quality photographs and sends them to Moscow. The Company behind the app is Linerock Investments, which is based in an apartment complex overlooking the Moscow River, right next door to Russia’s Ministry of Defence and just three miles from Red Square.
To say the new app has prompted major concerns within the cyber security community would be a gross understatement.
“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,” Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor, ESET Internet Security wrote in an email to MailOnline.
According to the new app’s promotional material: ‘The world around us is fast-paced and always evolving. In this ever changing world, why stick to one profile pic on your social media? Let it be different, always new and… made by AI! The NewProfilePic app lets you change your user image style as often as you want. Dare to be different, with a profile pic that reflects your current mood or state of mind. Impress your friends on social media and keep them interested in what’s coming next! ;)”
By agreeing to download the app, users are willing to share their location, details about the device they are using as well as other photographs on their social media feeds.
Such an innocuous, innocent-sounding name – NewProfilePic – but it’s raising serious red flags.
In this particular case, a shade of communist red to be sure.