Washington - Warning of national security and privacy risks for millions of Americans, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate FaceApp, the viral age-defying photo program that has raised fresh concerns about facial recognition and data protection.
In a Wednesday letter, Schumer called on the FBI to assess whether personal data uploaded into FaceApp "may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government" or groups associated with Moscow. FaceApp's developers are headquartered in St. Petersburg, and on Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee warned presidential campaigns against using FaceApp because of its Russia roots.
Schumer said that FaceApp's origins "raise questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments."
"It would be deeply troubling if the sensitive personal information of U.S. citizens was provided to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States."
FaceApp lets users upload photos of their faces and automatically edit them to look older. Celebrities like Drake, LeBron James and the Jonas Brothers all posted edited snapshots on social media showing their graying hair and wrinkling skin, as did millions of other users across the country. Since it was launched in 2017, more than 80 million people have edited their photos through FaceApp.