Exercise caution when joining the “AI yearbook” trend.
This is the advice of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, about the latest social media craze.
“While the AI yearbook trend itself may seem harmless, it is essential for individuals using the application to be cautious about the privacy implications it may pose,” said Roren Marie M. Chin, chief at the NPC’s Public Information and Assistance Division.
“We will continue to observe and assess this trend to ensure that personal data is being handled in compliance with the (Data Privacy Act) and our issuances,” Chin said in a statement, stressing that the commission remained vigilant in monitoring such kinds of online trends.
Many Facebook users in the Philippines have been posting images generated from the AI (artificial intelligence)-assisted photo editing app Epik, which was developed by a company called SNOW Corp.
On its website, the company showcases technology products in augmented reality and camera filters.
The app allows users to upload photos to generate “retro” versions of their look supposedly from the 1990s, featuring them as high school campus archetypes: nerdy, sporty, casual or preppy.
Users can choose a one-time payment fee of P199 to have their images generated within 24 hours, or through a more expensive P299 fee to have it finished within two hours.
Filipino influencer-vloggers such as Ivana Alawi, Kryz Uy, Bretman Rock, as well as celebrities like Megan Young and Ina Raymundo were among the social media celebrities who have joined the trend.