Picture-editing app Pitu is all over our social media feed these past few days.
The trending app, which originated in China, is apparently one of the most downloaded mobile software in that country.
In the Philippines, it has gone viral, too, flooding our Facebook News Feed with Chinese-themed portraits of our friends.
According to Tencent, the maker of the app and one of the largest internet companies in China, Pitu is a "self-developed technologies of face analysis, facial feature location, and image processing."
The app doesn't just "beautify"you—it transforms you into a whole new character.
As of writing, the app already has a whopping 10 million downloads on the Google Play app store.
Thanks to its fun and easy to use features, it's no surprise that many are hooked on Pitu.
But then, just like all the other apps you install on your smartphone (or even apps that you use via Facebook), you must be vigilant with the information that they are asking you.
Upon checking the app, we were surprised to see that it requires a lot of information before you can start using it.
Once installed, Pitu has access to all the apps that are currently running on your smartphone, your browsing history, and even your bookmarked websites.
It also tracks whenever you make a call (and if someone calls you).
Plus, it has access to your mobile's microphone for unknown reasons as well.
That's quite a lot when all you need is a selfie to upload, right?
Comparing to other popular photo editing/transforming apps such as BeautyPlus, Pitu's need to access software that runs on your mobile, browsing history, and bookmarked websites seem to be a little over the top (though BeautyPlus also tracks your calls and uses your device's microphone).
We're not saying that you stop using Pitu, but with the issue of data selling worldwide, it's better to be safe than sorry.
This story originally appeared on FHM.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.