Taipei [Taiwan], February 11 (ANI): A Taiwanese official has cautioned people of Taiwan against using a Chinese face-swapping app, saying that the applications could use the data for financial fraud or create personal files for Chinese law enforcement.
The app, called Quyan, has gained popularity among young Taiwanese. It uses a photograph uploaded by a user to edit their face onto celebrities, creating 'deep fakes' videos that make the users look like actors.
The app was developed by Shenzhen Xinguodu Intelligence Co, also known as Nexgo, which create hardware and software for processing electronic payments, including biometric services.
After conducting an investigation of the app, a national security official said it poses "grave security threat," especially as it requires facial recognition and e-mail verification to use, Taipei Times reported on Monday.
To sign up for the app, users are required to verify their e-mails address and upload a clear photograph of their face without wearing glasses or anything else that could obstruct the camera view of the user's facial features.
The firm could sell the data it collects through Quyan for use with payment software, allowing payments to be made through facial recognition, they said.
By requiring e-mail confirmation, the app is able to obtain other personal information that could be used in conjunction with biometric data to make payments or obtain financial information, they added.
They also did not rule out that the data are being sent to Chinese law enforcement to create files on users, according to Taipei Times.
The official advised people interested in using the app to exercise caution, especially if they link accounts to their e-mail, browse Chinese websites or express political opinions online.
China has been accused of stealing data by several countries, including the US and Canada.
Recently, Canada's intelligence chief David Vigneault warned Canadians that they are being "aggressively" targeted by hostile foreign governments seeking political, economic and military advantage.
Vigneault singled out Russia and China, saying that Beijing was engaged in "activities that are a direct threat to our national security and sovereignty."
Meanwhile, Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuo Kuo-wen called for a ban on Chinese apps that carry a security risk.
Public agencies are already banned from using Chinese-made apps, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Meng-yen said. (ANI)