FBI urged to investigate over FaceApp privacy concerns

FBI urged to investigate over FaceApp privacy concerns

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer is urging the FBI to investigate FaceApp over national-security and privacy concerns.

The hugely popular app, whose developer is based in Russia, uses artificial intelligence to alter your photos to make you appear older or younger, and can even 'swap' your gender.

However, the terms of the app have been raising alarm bells about what it could actually be doing with the photos you submit for editing.

The photo is essentially given over to the app as it makes its way onto FaceApp's servers when you apply the filter.

And it is not clear what the app, if anything, is doing with the photos once they're uploaded to the platform.

In light of these recent concerns, Schumer wrote a letter to the FBI where he said it was "deeply troubling" that the personal data of US-based users could go to a "hostile foreign power".


"I have serious concerns regarding both the protection of the data that is being aggregated as well as whether users are aware of who may have access to it," the New York Democrat wrote in the letter posted to Twitter on Wednesday.

Schumer continued: FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments."

He then urged the FBI to investigate whether the data provided by US citizens was being used by anyone with links to the Russian government.

Wireless Lab, the developers of the app, said they do not permanently store images. However, the company has been called into question for not clearly disclosing that users' images are uploaded to the cloud, rather than on the user's device.