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Is the Lensa app secure?

Except you’ve added “digital detox” to your record of New Yr’s resolutions, you’ve doubtless seen a deluge of illustrated portraits of your pals popping up in your social media timelines. At instances the person would possibly seem as a fairy, princess, anime character, or astronaut. However what’s actually notable is how a lot these photographs appear like your pals—however higher.

These AI-generated photographs are the product of the digital modifying app Lensa and its fashionable “Magical Avatars” function that went viral in direction of the top of 2022. 

In accordance with current analytics from Sensor Tower, over 13.5 million individuals throughout the globe downloaded the app through the first 12 days of December 2022—with customers spending round 30 million USD within the app throughout that point.


Examples of Lensa app's magical avatars
Credit score: twitter/prismaAI; instagram/


Nevertheless, with Lensa’s person base persevering with to surge, the app is proving to be as controversial as it’s fashionable. The brainchild of U.S.-based tech firm Prisma Labs, Lensa has come beneath scrutiny for its potential affect on person privateness—there are rising issues about its information assortment practices (and the way that information is used). 

On this information, we element every thing it’s worthwhile to know concerning the Lensa app and provide tips about the way to preserve your private data secure.  

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Soar to…
What’s the Lensa app?
How a lot does the Lensa app price?
Privateness issues past your uploaded pics
Questionable photographs & copied artwork
8 methods to guard your privateness whereas utilizing Lensa
Ought to I delete the Lensa app?
Steps to completely delete your Lensa account

What’s the Lensa app?

In brief, Lensa is a cell photo-editing app that makes use of AI expertise to rework its customers’ selfies into personalized artworks for a small price. The app makes use of Secure Diffusion, an open-source AI deep-learning mannequin, which attracts from a database of two.3 billion captioned photographs of artwork scraped from the web. 


Examples of the Lensa app's avatars
Credit score: twitter/prismaAI; instagram/

Secure Diffusion then makes use of these photographs, together with the 10-20 selfies customers add into the app, to generate new works. Lensa additionally presents a variety of different AI-powered options to assist its customers get dreamy selfies. 

These embrace: 

  1. Computerized enhancement: Photographs are analyzed and changes are made to the brightness, distinction, and coloration steadiness to enhance the general look of the picture.
  2. Object elimination: The Lensa app can detect and take away undesirable objects from a picture, resembling blemishes or distracting components.
  3. Portrait mode: Utilizing facial detection expertise, a bokeh impact is utilized to topics in a photograph to create a professional-looking portrait.
  4. Sensible filters: The app suggests filters that it thinks are best suited for a photograph.

How a lot does the Lensa app price?

The Lensa app is initially free to obtain and use. Customers get a seven-day free trial once they signal as much as Lensa after which have the choice of paying a once-off price for a particular variety of distinctive avatars. 

The Lensa app’s costs vary from 3.99 USD for 50 AI-produced footage (5 variations of 10 totally different types) should you’re a subscriber, or 7.99 USD if not. If you would like extra avatars you will want to pay 11.99 USD for 100 photographs (10 variations of 10 types) or 15.99 USD for 200 avatars (20 variations of 10 types)—which shall be discounted by 50% should you subscribe.

Lensa solely presents the choice of subscribing for one 12 months or extra. It prices 35.99 USD for an annual subscription to the Lensa app and limitless avatars.


Examples of Lensa's AI portraits
Credit score: twitter/prismaAI; instagram/

Privateness issues past your uploaded pics 

Regardless of Prisma Labs confirming that “a person’s photographs and the related mannequin are erased completely” from their U.S.-based servers as quickly because the avatars are generated, issues loom across the potential dangers to person privateness and safety. 

A few of these dangers embrace:

Facial recognition 

The Lensa app makes use of facial recognition to generate its portraits, which some take into account problematic as a result of potential privateness, safety, and id implications of getting your picture saved, analyzed, and probably used for surveillance or by legislation enforcement. Facial recognition expertise to generate AI photographs additionally raises a variety of different points, together with accuracy, bias, misuse, and moral issues.

Information assortment 

Whereas biometrics could also be a major fear relating to utilizing Lensa, it’s essential to additionally perceive how a lot further information the app robotically collects out of your smartphone. For instance, the app requests entry to a person’s digicam, microphone, and placement, in addition to entry to their contacts and social media accounts. 

As a result of Prisma Labs doesn’t disclose precisely what they do with person information, the corporate could possibly be utilizing third-party analytics to trace traits, share person information with advertisers, log file data, and register person data to assemble information. 

Avatar possession

Whereas person photographs are deleted in Lensa robotically, the app’s privateness coverage states that every one avatars generated by Lensa can be utilized, shared, and repurposed by the corporate in any method it needs. Which means by utilizing Lensa, you give the app’s builders the fitting to reshare and distribute the reasonable paintings it creates utilizing your likeness—with out them having to pay you any royalties, or get your permission first. 

Information breaches 

There may be all the time the danger of information breaches and unauthorized entry to non-public data when utilizing cell apps. Whereas Lensa’s developer states that the app makes use of industry-standard safety measures to guard person information, even they admit that they’ll’t promise “100% safety” from cyberattacks and hacking. If the information from the Lensa app had been to fall into the incorrect arms, it could possibly be used for fraudulent actions, id theft, or different malicious functions.

Inappropriate content material 

Other than information and privateness issues, Lensa has been embroiled in controversy round its creation of biased and sexually charged photographs, in addition to allegedly utilizing stolen artwork in its filters and stickers. Extra on this beneath. 

Questionable photographs & copied artwork

Folks of coloration have reported situations of AI bias in Lensa-generated selfies, claiming that the app gave them stereotypical or overly exaggerated options primarily based on their race and cultural heritage.   

Moreover, although Lensa’s phrases of service stipulate that customers solely submit applicable content material, and that no nude photographs or footage of youngsters be uploaded, many customers—primarily ladies—have reported that the app has generated bare or overly sexualized photographs of them. 

For instance, even when some feminine customers have uploaded modest footage of themselves into the app, it not solely generates nude avatars however it additionally offers them cartoonishly-large breasts. Actress Megan Fox not too long ago referred to as out the app on Instagram for sexualizing her avatars, as did activist Brandee Barker on Twitter.

Disturbingly, some customers have allegedly been utilizing Lensa’s avatar feature to create sexually suggestive or specific animated photographs of one other individual and distributing them with out the topic’s consent. This has raised issues concerning the potential for the unfold of non-consensual specific photographs and the exploitation of people, notably youngsters and younger individuals.

Moreover, a handful of customers have additionally reported that sure filters and stickers within the app look like copied or stolen from different artists and photographers, with out correct credit score or permission being given. 

Whereas the Secure Diffusion mannequin is able to producing reasonable digital photographs from written descriptions, the Lensa app must be fed with content material as a way to study. It, due to this fact, attracts inspiration from watermarked and copyrighted works on the web, in addition to a variety of photographs from websites like Pinterest, Flickr, Getty, and Shutterstock—with out looking for consent to make use of these works within the coaching information. 

Digital artists like Meg Rae have posted warnings on their Instagram pages calling for customers to boycott the app, labeling it “artwork theft.” Nevertheless, the app’s developer has hit again, stating that every one works produced by Lensa don’t really encroach on copyright infringement.

In a press release launched in response to the allegations, the corporate mentioned that AI learns the way to generate artwork in a “semi-similar” option to people. “As soon as the coaching is completed, AI doesn’t consult with the unique photographs however applies what it has discovered concerning the types to the brand new picture,” the assertion mentioned. “Therefore, one can’t loosely apply such phrases as ‘forgery’, ‘artwork theft’ or ‘unlawful’ use to this course of.”

8 methods to guard your privateness whereas utilizing Lensa

Regardless of the controversies circling the Lensa app and the potential privateness dangers it poses, you should still be interested by utilizing it. Right here’s what to remember earlier than you begin importing your selfies:

1. Be conscious of permissions 

One option to defend your privateness on Lensa is to be conscious of the permissions you grant the app. Whereas you will want to present the app permission to make use of your digicam and photograph library if you need it to generate avatars, take into account if you wish to give it entry to your microphone, location information, your contacts, and social media accounts. 

In case you aren’t comfy sharing any of the above, right here’s the way to revoke the app’s permissions:

In case you use an iOS gadget:

  • In your iPhone or iPad open the Settings app
  • Scroll down until you discover Lensa beneath your record of apps
  • Faucet Lensa 
  • Subsequent to Microphone, Location, or Contacts, toggle the permissions by switching them off

In case you use an Android gadget:

  • In your gadget open the Settings app
  • Faucet Apps
  • Faucet Lensa. In case you can’t discover it, faucet See all apps. Then, select Lensa.
  • Faucet Permissions.
  • To alter a permission setting, faucet it, then select Permit or Don’t enable

2. Choose out of information assortment

To be truthful, it’s not simply Lensa that collects information on its customers. Most apps in your telephone could also be amassing extra data than you notice. Luckily, Lensa customers can choose out of the app’s information assortment by emailing the corporate immediately at [email protected]. Any authorized requests may take as much as 90 days to course of.

In case you determine to belief Lensa along with your private information, nonetheless, simply remember the fact that it’s fairly potential for the information to vary arms if the corporate is acquired sooner or later. 

3. At all times learn the privateness coverage 

Earlier than signing as much as the app, take a second to flick through its privateness coverage and phrases of use to get a greater concept of what information Lensa collects and the way it may probably use it. Go to part 3 of the privateness coverage to test this out intimately. 

4. Concentrate on what you share 

As talked about above, by utilizing Lensa, you give the app’s builders the fitting to make use of and share your avatars non-exclusively, with out having to pay you. It’s additionally value noting that the majority main social platforms like Fb, Twitter, and Instagram reserve the same proper for something you determine to publish to their platforms. Which means should you share your “Magical Avatars” along with your social community, the platforms that host this content material may repurpose the pictures in any method they select.   

5. Take metadata into consideration

Whereas Prisma Labs doesn’t require or request metadata, which may embrace data such because the GPS coordinates of the place a photograph was taken, remember the fact that a few of the pics you add to the app could share this data by default. 

Learn to take away metadata out of your picture information.

6. Run the newest model of the app 

As Lensa’s developer could launch common updates that enhance the safety of the app and defend your private data, all the time just be sure you’re operating the newest model of the app on all of your sensible gadgets. 

7. Report offensive outcomes 

In case you’ve acquired a end result that’s racially or sexually biased while you work together with Lensa’s AI, report it to the corporate immediately by emailing [email protected].  Alternatively, you too can flag a difficulty within the app by heading to Setting > Assist Centre > Ship Suggestions > Magic Avatars > after which deciding on the problem. 

8. Keep knowledgeable

Attempt to keep knowledgeable about any updates or adjustments made to the app’s information assortment practices as typically as potential by commonly checking Lensa’s privateness coverage and phrases of use. Additionally commonly overview the permissions that you just’ve granted to the app in your gadget’s settings. 

Ought to I delete the Lensa app?

Whether or not or not you must delete the Lensa app is a private resolution that is dependent upon your particular person wants and issues.

In case you’re nervous about Lensa’s information assortment practices, its use of facial recognition expertise, or a few of the controversial content material the app produces—otherwise you’ve discovered that it’s simply not for you—then deleting Lensa could be the option to go. 

Nevertheless, uninstalling the Lensa app out of your telephone isn’t sufficient to delete your account and your information completely.

Steps to completely delete your Lensa account 

If you wish to delete the Lensa app for good in your Android or iOS gadget, in addition to all related information, comply with these easy steps:

How one can delete your Lensa account

  1. Open the Lensa app in your smartphone
  2. Faucet the Settings icon on the backside of the display screen 
  3. Click on in your Profile

How to delete the Lensa app

4. Choose Delete Account
5. Proceed to cancel your Lensa subscription if in case you have one 

How one can cancel your Lensa subscription 

  1. Click on Handle Subscriptions
  2. Choose Cancel Subscription
  3. Then, absolutely take away all information related to the app

How one can completely erase all information from Lensa 

  1. Clear the app’s cache and information out of your gadget’s settings 
  2. Proceed to delete the Lensa app out of your telephone
  3. Lastly, request that Lensa delete all your information from their servers by emailing [email protected]



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