ByteDance, owner of the TikTok music app, found itself in “trouble” again. This time specific code was found to create Deepfakes within the application. This discovery was made by Watchful.ai, an Israeli market research start-up.
The code was found in the Android version of TikTok and its similar Chinese app Douyin. Watchful.ai was able to find the code and activate the functionality, which apparently is not yet present in the final version of the applications.
This function analyzes users’ faces from various angles and prompts various actions such as blinking, waving or opening and closing their mouths. This way, the app gathers information needed to put the user’s face on videos within the app.
According to Watchful.ai, this is not a simple filter but a very advanced form of Deepfake, where the user’s face is recreated with very realistic expressions, colors and motion tracking.
ByteDance denies having in-app function
In response to this discovery, both ByteDance and TikTok deny that Deepfakes is not part of the app. A company spokesman says there are no plans to release such functionality and that the code will be removed to avoid further confusion.
However, the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, was not mentioned in the statements. It remains to be seen whether TikTok will start using Deepfake technology to streamline user interaction with the app.
ByteDance and TikTok are under scrutiny
The United States recently filed a lawsuit against ByteDance on the grounds that the company collects and sends data from its users to China. Additionally, most military divisions in the United States have already banned the TikTok app from internally used mobile phones.
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