TikTok quietly builds deepfake technology that allows users to project their faces onto different people

TikTok has quietly developed deepfake technology that allows users to exchange their faces on people in composite videos

  • This feature allows users to trade their faces for a video from another person
  • It has yet to be released, although the code has been discovered within TikTok
  • TikTok says it has no intention of releasing the function despite the existence of code

Chinese social media upstart, TikTok and its counterpart Douyin are turning to technology that is often used to make deepfakes to control a pending feature.

According to a report from TechCrunch, ByteDance, owner of TikTok and Douyin, based in China, has developed a feature that allows users to create videos that place their faces on someone else.

The feature, which is a reflection of other deep-fake technology used to watch doctor’s videos from politicians and public figures, is called “Face Swap” according to TechCrunch in TikTok’s own code and has not yet been released to users.

TikTok may be thinking of using deepfake technology that allows users to scan their faces and then exchange them for a video

TikTok may be thinking of using deepfake technology that allows users to scan their faces and then exchange them for a video

The face-swapping function, although similar to that which has long been used by other social media platforms such as Snapchat, differs in its ability to realistically place faces on videos according to TechCrunch.

‘Face Swap’ reportedly works by taking a biometric scan of a user’s face from multiple angles – similar to the process of setting up a face recognition app such as Apple’s Face ID – and then letting users choose videos on which to display their want to insert a face.

Once the video has been made, it will also receive a watermark to show that it has been promoted with the function. Users can then share it or download it directly to their device.

Although the feature allegedly lets users scan their own faces in TikTok’s system to help the company prevent users from stealing the face of another person, it is likely to be a concern for TikTok and parent company skeptics.

US officials have warned that TikTok poses a threat to national security because of its ties with the Chinese government. In particular, they warn that TikTok may send user data to the Chinese government.

TechCrunch reports that TikTok representatives have already denied the feature being rolled out, even though snippets of code are found in the app.

Instead, a representative claims that the feature will only be available to Douyin users, who is only available in China.

FaceApp, a popular face-swapping app released this year, asked users to sign an agreement that allowed the company to use the “likeness” of people in any media format without compensation

‘… after consulting the teams, I can confirm that this is absolutely not a function in TikTok, nor do we intend to introduce it. I think what you’re looking at might be something for Douyin, “a representative told TechCrunch.

However, as noted by TechCrunch, TikTok still needs to explain why snippets of code appeared in the app, in addition to the terms of service related to the feature written in English.

Deepfaking technology has received a lot of negative damping in the past year due to the ability to create and disseminate incorrect information.

Malicious deepfakes have been used to doctor videos of politicians and to make fake porn by placing someone’s face over the body of another person.

A popular face-swapping app, called FaceApp, came under fire because of the overly possessive service conditions that gave the company full ownership of selfies made using the program.