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The FBI and FTC are being asked to investigate Russia-based FaceApp

What you need to know

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called on the FBI and FTC to investigate Russia-based FaceApp.
  • FaceApp has insisted data is never transferred to Russia and most photos are deleted within 48 hours.
  • The DNC has also sent out a security alert warning staffers to avoid the app.

FaceApp has seen a surge in popularity recently for its ability to age your photos and let you see how time will take its toll. According to app analytics from Sensor Tower, FaceApp has been downloaded more than 12.7 million times since July 10.

However, that recent surge in popularity has also raised some red flags over what the Russia-based company does with the photos you upload. On July 17, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter calling on the FBI and FTC to investigate the app.

In the letter, Schumer writes, "I ask that the FBI assess whether the personal data uploaded by millions of Americans onto FaceApp may be finding its way into the hand of the Russian government, or entities with ties to the Russian government." He then states:

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 foreign governments.

In response, when speaking to TechCrunch, the makers of FaceApp have said that user data is never transferred to Russia, "Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia." It's also stated that most images are deleted from the servers within 48 hours of the upload date.

Besides calling for an investigation into FaceApp, the DNC has also sent out a security alert warning staff against using the app. In the alert, Bob Lord, the chief security officer of the DNC says:

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.

Lord goes on to say, "It's not clear at this point what the privacy risks are, but what is clear is that the benefits of avoiding the app outweigh the risks."

The DNC knows all too well the risks of being attacked by Russian hackers. During the 2016 presidential campaign, both the DNC and Hillary Clinton were targeted, and it's clear they are taking cybersecurity more seriously now.

How to cancel a FaceApp subscription

28 Comments
  • So there is no evidence of wrong doing but they're being targeted just because the app maker is based in Russia? Substitute another county for Russia (say the UK, Japan, or Zimbabwe) and ask yourself if this passes the smell test. Welcome to the new McCarthyism. The Red Scare is alive and well and has been resurrected by corporate Democrats to distract from their ineptitude.
  • Lol you sound a bit angry.
  • Yeah this **** p!sses me off. I want my elected officials working on stuff that actually matters instead of blatant fear mongering.
  • Fear mongering is the MO of the current US administration.
  • ...this isn’t McCarthyism. Open up a history book, Jan.
  • Yet people keep using that stupid app.
  • LOL@ everyone who has used this app.
  • People, any app you use has access to the data you share with it and could be sharing it with any 3rd party. This is true regardless of stated privacy policies and you have to be OK with that or you shouldn't be using the app. This is true for EVERY APP. This particular story is nothing but a corporate Democrat attempting to capitalize on the Russia hysteria propped up by corporate media after the 2016 election. It's a political tactic used to scare people into voting a certain way when they don't have anything substantive to offer.
  • Y'all FACE APP is still your privacy information! - facebook GTFOH
  • "FaceApp was developed by Russians" O...M...G Kaspersky is still OK, right?
  • Not in the US!
  • Our "Moron-In-Chief" snuggles with Putin but if developers are based in Russia all hell breaks loose! I.e. Kaspersky, now this. Oh sweet Jesus! I'm using Adguard! The enemy has already invaded my life! 😱
  • I bet, even Trump has used it to see what he looks like in 70 years. Was probably surprised to see a skeleton! Since he is the healthiest and smartest human being EVER, he must have assumed to age in biblical proportion!
  • Nah, he wouldn't need to. As we've already seen in other stories, people have already done that. I would have thought the DNC would love this app. It could make all those underage girls look old enough to consent! :D
  • If this was any country other than Russia, I bet this wouldn't even be on the radar. But since Russia=Trump= bad, all of the sudden these politicians are acting like they care about privacy. 
  • I mean, the Mueller report concludes that Russia interfered in our democracy by helping get Trump elected. That’s fact.
  • Yes all those FB ads must have done it. Couldn't have been the sheer incompetence of the democratic party... Can't wait to see what the narrative is in 2020 if the Dems fail again. 
  • So why is there like three articles on the main page promoting this app when there’s clearly security and privacy concerns about it?
  • The Russians are living in Democrat heads rent-free. Who cares where any personal data goes, when every single user of this app has voluntarily surrendered all rights to that data?
  • You should actually read the Mueller report. I have. All 400+ pages. If you just want the highlights read the introduction, plus the summaries for section 1 and 2. This is about 40 pages.
  • What's your point?
  • Pookie regularly inserts political stuff into the comments.
  • Considering there are parts that are redacted and classified, I highly doubt you have.
  • My bad. The version that was released. My point still stands.
  • Hey, there’s a Russian hiding behind that bush over there, Lmao. 😂 Clown 🤡 World.
  • More Russiagate stuff.😁🤣
  • The last paragraph is a complete joke.
  • There goes American again anything popular and liked but not made in America is suspect until a clone comes along from America and it would be discovered there and will be innovative and safe. Showdown is Russian