What the Tech? Is the Voila App Protected to Use?


Like many of her friends, Jessica Woods could not resist trying out the latest viral photo app.

“I was going through Facebook and I saw a bunch of people posting stuff about it and I jumped on the bandwagon,” she said.

Woods is talking about the Voila AI Artist. If you’ve been using social media at all the past couple of weeks you’ve probably seen what it does.

After uploading a selfie or a photo from the camera roll, Voila will turn the image into a cartoon, caricature, or a renaissance-type portrait.

Jessica proudly showed the Disney-like images the app created for her husband and two kids. “I was like, oh this is what I would look like if I was a cartoon. This is what I’d look like as a Disney princess,” she said.

If you’ve seen some of the results by your friends on Facebook and Instagram you’ll probably agree that the app does an amazing job and the images are very high quality. But is it safe?

According to its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, Voila can use images you upload in its marketing and advertising campaigns without notifying you. or paying you for it. It tracks your activity, even when you’re not using the app.

It earns revenue through subscriptions, and by selling these advertisements before creating the images.

It’s a similar policy to other face-shifting apps like Gradient, Wombo, Facetune, and others. Funny thing is, when those apps were released, lots of people worried about their privacy.

The fact that their image could be used by the app without their knowledge.

Jessica said she checked out Voila before installing it, even skimming over the privacy policy. Mindsets have changed in two short years. Most people accept the risk now when an app goes viral.

“A bunch of people was doing it. I looked into it, and it looked cool, neat,” said Woods.

Voila is free with those ads. A year subscription is $3 a week. Like with other free apps, if you install it, and stop using it at some point. Delete the app from your phone. It’ll continue tracking your activity whether you use it or not. And those ads will run down the battery.

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