Source: FaceApp - Screenshot

“The FBI & FTC must look into the national security & privacy risks now”, Senator Chuck Schumer said about the Russian app “FaceApp”, that is being accused for being a threat to privacy and national security.

“This app allows users to perform different transformations on photos of people, such as aging the person in the picture. Unfortunately, this novelty is not without risk: FaceApp was developed by Russians,” said the security alert from Bob Lord, the DNC’s chief security officer.

Note that FaceApp did not immediately respond to request for comment, concerning many even more about the Russian app’s intentions.

Sen. Schumer called for an investigation yesterday in a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission. Schumer wrote:

“FaceApp uses artificial intelligence to alter a user’s photos to look younger or older or possess a different gender. However, in order to operate the application, users must provide the company full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data.

According to its privacy policy, users grant FaceApp license to use or publish content shared with the application, including their username or even their real name, without notifying them or providing compensation.

[…] In particular, FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of US citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments…

Given the growing popularity of FaceApp and these national security and privacy concerns, I ask that the FBI assess whether the personal data uploaded by millions of Americans onto FaceApp may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government or entities with ties to the Russian government.

If so, I would urge that steps be immediately taken by the FBI to mitigate the risk presented by the aggregation of this data.”

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