FBI requested to investigate FaceApp over fears of data ownership
Reports state the app now owns access to over 150 million people's faces.
If you've been online at all this week, then you've probably seen those photos of people putting their faces through a realistic aging filter, showing what people will look like in a few decades time.
The app in question is the Russian-owned company FaceApp, and BBC are reporting that American senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has requested that the FBI investigate the app, following reports that the app can claim ownership of any images that are uploaded on it.
Forbes have reported that the app has been downloaded over 100 million times, and it is currently the top-ranking app in app stores in over 120 countries around the world.
The terms and conditions of the app state the following:
"You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public."
In an open letter on Twitter, Schumer stated that he found it deeply troubling that the personal data of US citizens could be owned by a "hostile foreign power".
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
In a statement reported by TechCrunch, the parent company of FaceApp stated that "Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia," and that they do not permanently store images and stockpile the data of the app's users.