How Photo Lab is NOT CONNECTED to the CIA

It’s not. We swear 🙂

After our Photo Lab app got viral in Bangladesh with its new photo effect (and reached #1 rank there on Android), three of their leading news websites «proved» it to be a part of IBM’s plan to sell data to the US Intelligence Agencies. Sounds ridiculous and it is, but that actually happened.

Shortly after we released new «AI Cartoon» effects, Photo Lab started slowly climbing the ranks in lots of countries. And this particular combo became a hit in lots of Muslim countries. Especially in Bangladesh! After becoming #1 photo editing app there by the end of last week, it moved up to top #1 overall in its Android store as of this Wednesday, beating Facebook and Instagram, the platforms from which the virality derived.

It became so popular that Bangladesh accounted for more than half of our daily processing, our servers even got down for some time. At some point, about half of Dhaka’s «Recent» Instagram posts were dedicated to our effects.

And early today the news broke. Three of Bangladesh’s leading websites (,, posted an article claiming that Photo Lab is actually… CIA project aimed at collecting bank data of its users. Well, we are obviously not. We even don’t have an office in the US.

Here are their points and our response to each:

  1. They say we are based in the US («according to The Verge»… that never wrote about us). However, we are a BVI company with the development offices in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
  2. They say we released the very first update on June 15 after a loooong break. But as our users you know that we update the app 1-2 times a week, right?
  3. They say we store high-resolution images as ‘data’. Well, Photo Lab is a server-based app, true. We upload your photos to Amazon servers (located in the US) to perform image processing driven by AI technologies. That’s all. Results that are not posted to Feed get deleted shortly.

And finally, we’d like to thank our Bangladesh users for loving Photo Lab and using it so actively that even such an unimaginable media story could happen.

Also we’d like to address our beloved users in other parts of the world. Edit your photos, post your amazing results on social media and see us «connected» to KGB, MI6, and Mossad shortly 👻

We love you, guys! ❤️️