Hey Wyoming: ‘NewProfilePic’ Is NOT a Russian Malware Scam
It is indeed a strange time we live in, when a large number of our population will believe a rumor, or in some cases, a blatant falsehood (see also: lie), over the truth.
The latest social media rumor is that the popular photo-editing smartphone app, NewProfilePic, is stealing your data and is based out of Russia.
Here are the facts:
- Linerock Investments LTD (the apps parent company), is based out of Tortola, which is located in the British Virgin Islands.
- Linerock Investments LTD is not new. They have been around for over 20 years.
- Linerock Investments LTD also developed two other very popular photo editing apps: “Photo Lab Picture Editor & Art” and “ToonMe - cartoons from photos".
There is however a logical explanation for some of the rumors and misinformation:
A few websites have claimed that the NewProfileApp was registered in Moscow. The explanation for that was actually pretty basic. A spokesperson's responded via email to fact-checking website, Snopes, with a statement that read:
It is true that the domain was registered to the Moscow address. It is the former Moscow address of the founder of the company. He does not live in the Russian Federation at the moment. By now the address has been changed in order to avoid any confusion.
Other concerns were that the app is "stealing money" or your "private data" off your device.
Reading "Terms and Conditions" before downloading Apps:
The main issue with these rumors, which come up all the time, even with bigger apps, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, is that no one reads the fine print. What these apps can actually access and what they can't, are often laid out in the "terms in conditions", but the vast majority of people scroll right through that part.
Is NewProfileApp safe?
The short answer: yes. Snopes stated:
While this app requests permission to access certain data on your phone, these requests aren’t unusual.
Another fact-checking website, PolitiFact, shared a similar assessment, which read:
Social media posts claim the NewProfilePic app accesses people’s banking information and contact lists and sends them to Russia.
The app does not ask for that information. It asks for access to the user’s camera, photos and media. A spokesperson for one of the app’s developers said users’ images are stored on servers located in the United States, not Russia.