US Lawmaker Calls For Investigation Into FaceApp Privacy And Security Concerns

Clay Curtis
July 21, 2019

It's not the case that you get a big warning when you open the app that says, 'Hey, this data can be used in any way.' I mean you get fine prints, [but] nobody reads the fine print.

Schumer underlined those concerns in a recent video, stating, "What seems like a benign new social media fad may actually not be benign at all".

Wireless Lab, the St. Petersburg, Russia-based company behind FaceApp, has also denied selling or sharing users' data with third parties. The main reason why a photo might be uploaded to the cloud is to make sure that users do not upload the same photo repeatedly for every editing operation.

M - Application developers for FaceApp smartphones earned more than $ 1 million from July 9 to July 19, amid a sharp increase in the popularity of the product, the Russian edition of Forbes reports.

Previously, the leader of the US Democratic Party in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, in a letter to the heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Trade Commission of the country warned about the threat to national security, allegedly hidden in the Russian photoapplication FaceApp. They have clearly listed their office address on their Terms of Use page. If we go in a different direction, let's say health insurance.

Now, this isn't to say that FaceApp doesn't save any of your data.

"Just as worrisome, it came to light that the app not only takes your picture, but retains the right to keep your photos or even your search history".

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Even if you use the FaceApp just for fun, such apps want a chunk of your data.

After its users expressed outrage, branding the terms "scary" and threatening to delete their accounts, Snapchat said in a blog post that its new terms indeed granted the company "broad licence" to user content, but that is "common to services like ours". He highlighted that these high-resolution photos can be abused to make some basic facial authentication systems.

Even before you start thinking if using the Face app will put my privacy in danger or not, Kaspersky has identified a fake app that is created to trick users into thinking it is a certified version of FaceApp but goes on to infect victims' devices with an adware module called MobiDash. Also, given the not so friendly relations between Russian Federation and the USA, many fear the info collected by the company might be used against Americans and its interests worldwide.

Ori Sasson, director of cyber-intelligence firm S2T, noted that the trove of photos that FaceApp accumulates is "not valuable" unless it is matched with accompanying data, such as the users' names, ages, contact numbers and identification numbers.

What are some things we should be looking for the next time we find ourselves enticed by a viral app?

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Still, caution is called as users give "more power" to malicious figures behind apps than those behind links, where phishing is a common mode of attack, he said.

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