Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has raised concerns and wants the FBI to inquire about what FaceApp is really up to.
The app has just gained massive popularity in the last 48 hours after introducing a new feature that shows your younger and older version. Many celebrities have been posting their pictures on social media looking old by using the app. It must be clarified that the app has been around for about two years but the introduction of age filter has taken the internet by the storm.
The senator tweeted:
BIG: Share if you used #FaceApp:
The @FBI & @FTC must look into the national security & privacy risks now
Because millions of Americans have used it
It’s owned by a Russia-based company
And users are required to provide full, irrevocable access to their personal photos & data pic.twitter.com/cejLLwBQcr
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 18, 2019
On Wednesday night, Senator Schumer called upon the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “look into” FaceApp’s policies and data collection practices. In a letter sent to FTC chairman Joseph Simons and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Schumer, it is explained that by using the app, users give Russian company “full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data”. This gives the company complete authority (licence) to use users content without asking for permission.
Furthermore, it is unclear how long FaceApp retains a user’s data or how a user may ensure their data is deleted after usage. These forms of “dark patterns,” which manifest in opaque disclosures and broader user authorizations, can be misleading to consumers and may even constitute a deceptive trade practices. Thus, 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.
In particular, 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.
The Senator has asked the FTC to check what safeguards are in place to protect Americans’ privacy.
Senator hasn’t voiced his opinion alone. On Wednesday night, the Democratic National Committee sent a warning to Democratic presidential campaigns requesting them not to use the app, CNN reported.
This is getting serious right now. Let’s see the app’s fate in the coming days.