US senator urges FBI to investigate Russian FaceApp

Chuck Schumer urges FBI to take steps if app poses risk to national security or Americans' privacy

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 18.07.2019
US senator urges FBI to investigate Russian FaceApp


A senior U.S. senator on Wednesday demanded an investigation into the Russian-based FaceApp, saying it could pose a risk to Americans' national security and privacy.  

"According to its privacy policy, users grant FaceApp license to use or publish content shared with the application, including their username or even their real name, without notifying them or providing compensation," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a letter to the FBI director and head of the Federal Trade Commission posted on Twitter.

The popular mobile-based FaceApp uses artificial intelligence to alter a user's photo to look younger or older or change their gender.

Schumer expressed his concerns about the app allowing its Russian-based owner "full and irrevocable access" to users’ personal photos and data.

Stressing that Russia remains a "significant counterintelligence threat," he said the app would be "deeply troubling" if people’s sensitive personal information was provided to "a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the U.S."

Citing national security risks and privacy concerns, Schumer asked the FBI to investigate whether the data uploaded by millions of Americans onto the app may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government or entities.

"If so, I would urge that steps be immediately taken by the FBI to mitigate the risk presented by the aggregation of this data," he added.

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