SWITZERLAND, JULY 19 – In the past one week, the Face App has been the rave amongst mobile phone users across the world. The new wonder app can alter one’s facial appearance on an incredible scale. Many celebrities have shared their Faceapp photos indicating their younger or older versions and a Faceapp challenge has also begun to trend on social media.
All that rave began to turn to concern when people realized the company that created Faceapp is based in Russia. Americans are worried that it may be a ploy for their enemy Russia to steal their information.
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s requested an enquiry into the app.
In a letter sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Senator Schumer said he’s concerned about the Russian government potentially accessing uploaded personal data. Senator Schumer is also worried about “how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including foreign governments.”
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) echoed Senator Schumer’s concerns, albeit in a more pointed manner, said:
“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.”
In a follow-up with CNN, DNC Chief Security Officer Bob Lord said the DNC has “significant concerns about the app (as do other security experts) having access to your photos, or even simply uploading a selfie.” As such, Lord recommended anyone officially in the Democratic Party to delete the app.
The DNC is particularly sensitive for a good reason — its computer network was attacked back in 2015 and 2016, which resulted in a data breach. Some cybersecurity experts and the U.S. government believe the attacks were the work of Russian intelligence agents
According to Sensor Tower, people have downloaded FaceApp almost 13 million times since July 10.