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do iphones take pictures of your faces every few seconds??

Is it true that iPhones take pictures of you every few seconds? Fact-checking 3 Ongoing Rumors of the Week (20210623)

do iphones take pictures of your faces every few seconds??
June 24, 2021

Are all Walmart stores going bagless on July 1? Do iPhones take pictures of your face every few seconds? Are there security risks in Voilà AI Artist Cartoon Photo? Learn if these stories are genuine or just rumors and misinformation.

In this post, we will share three ongoing widespread rumors. They may sound wild, ridiculous, or too creative to believe. Can you tell which are true and which are false?

Are all Walmart stores going bagless on July 1?


The statement is a mixture (rated by Snopes). Yes, Walmart will no longer provide plastic bags starting from July, but the policy only applies to Maine.

The central Maine radio station Moose 92 FM mentioned that all Walmart stores in Maine are going bagless:

Walmart bagless

So, it is true that Walmarts in Maine will not provide plastic bags, but not ALL Walmarts in the United States (that’s why we said the statement is a mixture). In fact, the no-plastic bags policy aligns with Maine’s new law– Single Use Plastic Bag Ban – “Maine law requires all carry-out bags provided by retailers in Maine to be either reusable or paper bags.”

Although not all Walmart stores are going to ban plastic bags on July 1st, the company is planning to launch the bagless program in Mexico and Vermount. Maybe it is also a good time for you to consider using fewer one-time plastic bags now!

Unsure of what you read online? Use Trend Micro Check to search for the information you need to combat fake news and misinformation. With the Trend Micro Check Chrome extension pinned, you can fact-check with ease – select a paragraph or a statement and click on the red Trend Micro Check logo for immediate detection results:

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Do iPhones take pictures of your face every few seconds?


The statement is misleading.

A TikTok video captioned with “Just found out iPhones take front camera pictures of your face every 3-5 seconds” went viral and received more than 43.7K likes:

The iPhones in the video “flashed” several times without the owners’ knowledge, making some viewers believe that iPhone’s front camera can take pictures of the user’s face every few seconds. Others believe the video proves that they are under surveillance when using iPhones. Is it true?

Not exactly. As USA Today reported, Apple spokesman Alex Kirschner has already explained that the phenomenon shown in the TikTok video was actually an Apple’s camera technology called TrueDepth camera.

According to Apple, TrueDepth camera is designed to check if users are using the device. It “captures face data by projecting and analyzing more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a map of your face while also taking an infrared image.” By enabling “attention awareness features,” TrueDepth camera can dim the screen brightness, lower the volume, and even turn off the screen when it detects the user is not using the device.

If you want to block the TrueDepth camera feature, you can go to the Face ID & Passcode settings to switch off “Attention Aware Features” at any time.

Apple also emphasized that your “Face ID data doesn’t leave your device and is never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else.” That is, no photos are taken; the infrared lights spotted in the TikTok video are just scanning to see if you are still using the iPhone. Rest assured!

Are there security risks in Voilà AI Artist Cartoon Photo?


Have you tried to turn yourself into a Pixar-style looking character? Be careful, the face-changing app, Voilà AI Artist Cartoon Photo, is actually risky- in terms of your data privacy and other cybersecurity issues.

To start using the app, you must accept their privacy policy, allowing the company to collect your personal data. According to Wemagine.ai, the company that runs the app, it will collect the photos you upload to it, your usage data (for example, browser information or the time you have spent on web pages), tracking cookies’ data, device information, and purchase history (if you buy their premium service). The types of data it collects seem no different from other camera apps; what makes it risky is how the company uses the data.

Although the company emphasized that the app would not store your data and that it will only use your photos for editing, “your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to – and maintained on – computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ from those of your jurisdiction.” There are still security risks about the transfer of your data, as the company stated:

The security of your data is important to us but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure.
While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

In short, the Voilà AI Artist Cartoon Photo app does collect and use your data. Although the company stressed many times that it will not use it for other purposes, there are still privacy concerns because transferring data online  is never 100% safe. Maybe you have to think twice before you download the app.

You can email privacy@wemagine.ai if you have any further questions. To protect yourself from potential data breaches, you can also use Trend Micro ID Security to monitor your identifying data and get data breach alerts automatically.

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Did you successfully identify the truth from the rumors? Pay more attention to what you read and share online! To combat rumors and misinformation, remember, you should always check first before you share.

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