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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate FaceApp, the photo-editing app that has become popular again recently.
CNN reports that that Democratic National Committee sent a warning out to the 2020 presidential campaigns about FaceApp on Wednesday.
“It’s not clear at this point what the privacy risks are, but what is clear is that the benefits of avoiding the app outweigh the risks,” Bob Lord, the DNC’s chief security officer, wrote in the letter, according to the news outlet.
The company told TechCrunch on Wednesday that while “the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.”
Schumer on Wednesday wrote a letter to FBI Director Christoper Wray and FTC Chairman Joseph Simons about his concerns with the app.
“In particular, FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments,” he wrote in the letter, adding: “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.”
BIG: Share if you used #FaceApp:— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 18, 2019
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
Schumer asked the FBI to look into whether the information uploaded onto FaceApp “may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government, or entities with ties to the Russian government.” He also asked the FTC to see if there were “adequate safeguards” to prevent the information from “being compromised.”
Some concerns about the massive collection of photos from users of the app have been addressed by the company and security researchers, who believe those claims to be unfounded.
- Should you be concerned about your privacy on FaceApp?
- FTC approves record $5 billion settlement with Facebook
- Fallout over Superhuman’s email privacy scandal continues
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Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).