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NBI warns public vs. using AI-powered photo apps amid cybersecurity threats

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 24, 2023 5:13 pm

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) warned the public against using trending photo apps powered by artificial intelligence in light of cybersecurity threats.

In a statement, NBI, via its Western Visayas division, mentioned an unnamed app that requires users to submit 10 photos to generate enhanced portraits. But the “seemingly harmless and entertaining” AI-powered app, it noted, comes with “major 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 said in a statement. “While it may appear to be harmless and amusing, this AI-driven technology has the potential to be maliciously exploited."

The agency cited cases like the creation of fake profiles leading to incidents of identity theft, data breaching, sexual exploitation, phishing attacks, and ransomware attacks.

“Let us all work together to protect our personal information,” it said.

A photo app named Epik recently made a splash on social media for its nostalgic effects. It makes use of artificial intelligence to transform ordinary pictures into classic yearbook-style masterpieces without the need for a professional photoshoot. The mobile app creates a retro effect—from makeup and hairstyle to other elements like clothes, frames, facial expressions, and beyond through AI.

Many Filipino celebrities even joined the bandwagon and shared their AI-generated yearbook photos on social media.