Technology

Best Face Forward: People See FaceApp and Facial Recognition Technology Differently

Image Credit: Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

If there was an evil Russian plot meant to make Americans get more comfortable with sharing images of their faces via FaceApp… well, it probably worked.

Of course, the whole “Russia is stealing your face” thing turned out to be a whole lot of nothing, as a Forbes report was all too happy to point out. 

But the rise of FaceApp – and this summer’s craze of aging oneself – did loosen some Americans’ views on sharing pictures of themselves online, particularly the views of Generation Z.

For starters, Generation Z is overwhelmingly more likely to give FaceApp a whirl. While 10% of the entire population has either tried or intends to try the app, 21% of Generation Z has either tried it or intends to.

Interestingly, there was no statistically significant difference in gender use of FaceApp, or, for that matter with any apps that capture their faces.

Overall, 19% of Americans are now okay with any apps that use their faces, which much like FaceApp usage is roughly half that of Generation Z by itself. In fact, Generation Z is more than four times as likely as Baby Boomers and older to be comfortable with the idea of having an app capture their face, and more than double Gen Xers. They are even 29% more comfortable than Millennials.

And that 19 % of Americans who claim to be okay with their faces living on heaven-knows-what-or-where server also seem to be more at peace with any consumer privacy concerns.

One more quick FaceApp point: The more social media someone uses, the higher the chance that they tried FaceApp. In fact, people who use social media 2+ hours a day are twice as likely to have tried FaceApp than people who spend an hour or two on social media, and they’re five times as likely as people who rarely or never use social media.

Additionally, Americans, in general, are becoming somewhat comfortable with facial recognition on both their mobile devices and their social media apps. More than a quarter of Americans are cool with it on their social media sites, and more than one in three Americans are okay with it on their mobile devices.

But here’s what’s surprising: Unlike use of FaceApp and comfort level with apps that capture a person’s face, age doesn’t play nearly as big a role when it comes to facial recognition in general terms. This may sound like splitting hairs, but it’s clearly not to a large portion of the country’s population.

In fact, when it comes to social media apps and facial recognition, Generation Z is “only” 26% more comfortable with it than those 55+. Mobile devices and facial recognition? Again, Gen Z is “only” 25% more comfortable with the idea.

Even crazier: In both cases, those over 55 are more comfortable with facial recognition than Generation X, who apparently would prefer to remain to be not seen.

Worth mentioning: People who are comfortable with facial recognition are a little less worried about getting their data hacked than people who aren’t as comfortable.

While FaceApp and other apps that capture faces are the domain of Generation Z and, to a lesser extent, Millennials, comfort with facial recognition, in general, seems to defy age. It would seem that the disconnect between the comfort level between facial recognition in general terms and apps that utilize the technology will dissipate over time.

Now that you know a little about CivicScience, tell us about you!

  • Hi, my name is
  • and I work for
  • .
  • You can contact me at
  • to keep me in the loop about the latest insights.

Explore More from CivicScience

Finance Finance
Health Healthcare
Hospitality
Media Media & Entertainment
Politics
icon-retail Retail
Technology