TikTok parent firm ByteDance has built a feature that might let customers design their deepfakes, TechCrunch reports. The feature, known as Face Swap, was noticed in code in each TikTok and the Chinese app Douyin. It asks users to scan their faces and then transfers their pictures to movies.
On the other hand, the feature could be seen as a logical evolution of other face swapping tech. Then again, it might have some very disagreeable repercussions. We have already seen how deepfake technology can be used for harm, so making the tech extra accessible seems like a bad thought. As TechCrunch points out, the feature additionally raises issues about what ByteDance could do with sensitive biometric data.
It is unclear if this feature will ever be launched to Douyin or TikTok users (collectively the apps have 1.5 billion downloads). The code was present in each app by an Israeli analysis agency Watchful.ai, however, TikTok reportedly advised TechCrunch that the deepfake feature is “definitely not a function in TikTok, nor do we have any intention of introducing it.” TikTok later told TechCrunch that it was destroying the stable code fragments to get rid of any confusion.