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The "NewProfilePic" app is collecting user data at the behest of Kremlin-backed intelligence agencies.

There is not enough evidence that data collected by the app is being sent to the Russian government.

There is not enough evidence that data collected by the app is being sent to the Russian government.Social media has been flooded with posts about an app, NewProfilePic, by a company called Linerock Investments. Many users have raised questions about its privacy and safety. There have been allegations that the app is collecting and illegally selling data. One report claims user data is collected at the behest of Kremlin-backed intelligence agencies. Given the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, connections are being drawn between the app and the war. However, the claim that "NewProfilePic" is collecting user data at the behest of Kremlin-backed intelligence agencies is currently unverifiable.

NewProfilePic is an image-editing app that allows you to alter your image. The app description on Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store says that the app's latest technology, driven by AI, uses different styles from "cartoon portraits, trendy art effects, catchy toony filters and more." On Google, the app is found under the name "NewProfilePic: Profile Picture," and on Apple, "NewProfilePic Picture Editor." The app has received an average of 4+ star ratings and allows in-app purchases. It also suggests that users can select a profile picture and reuse the app for new options and changes to their profile picture every week.

According to its LinkedIn page, Linerock Investment creates photo editing apps. Its most prominent apps include Photo Lab and Emolfi Keyboard. On a “Photo Lab & Pho.to site” blog page, it addressed the claim of collecting data for the Russian government. The blog post suggested that the allegations are being raised because the app was developed by a tech company based in Moscow. iNews reported that, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' Offshore Leaks database, Linerock Investments is registered in Moscow.

The company further explained that it is registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and has development offices in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. It added in a blog that all its "apps are server-based, and user images are uploaded to Amazon AWS / Microsoft Azure servers located in the U.S."

Linerock Investments' privacy policy states that it collects certain personal information that users voluntarily provide, including "name, email address, user name, social network information" and other details. Also, it noted that it could access the user's content with the user's permission.

Syracuse.com reported a few cybersecurity experts' opinions of the app. James Ritter, a cyber security expert, and CEO of Pulse Tech, said there was no evidence of anything malicious. Ritter noted that the company seems to be controlled by Andersen Business Services, which is still registered in Russia. However, the owners clarified to Snopes that it is the address of its lawyers at Andersen Business Services, who registered the company.

Doug Jacobson, a computer engineering professor at Iowa State University, suggested that most apps, especially free apps, harvest "some type of information because nothing is free." Therefore, it is necessary to research an app before downloading it, reported Syracuse.com.

Experts suggested checking the small print before using the NewProfilePic app, as it's a known fact that apps collect primary data from their users.

The policy details on the company's website and the registration details have raised confusion about the app's credibility. There are other claims that the app is stealing money from its users. However, there is not enough proof that the data is being shared with Kremlin-backed intelligence agencies or that money is being stolen from users.

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