Created in 2017 by developers at Wireless Lab in St. Petersburg, Russia, the app has now become of the most downloaded apps in the world.
That might not be risky, but the fact remains that the Russian parent company that has created FaceApp, Wireless Labs, does own a license to do whatever they want with it. Peter Kostadinov from PhoneArena says, 'You might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.' However, whether that matters to you or not is entirely your decision.
"In particular, FaceApp's location in Russian Federation raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of USA citizens to third aprties, including potentially foreign governments", Schumer said in his letter. If we go in a different direction, let's say health insurance.
But FaceApp has responded to the security allegations, saying, "We don't have access to any data that could identify a person [and] we don't sell or share any user data with any third parties".
Even large, mainstream apps routinely collect user data. The group told its 2020 presidential candidates not to use the app, citing its Russian background.
According to Kaspersky data, around 500 unique users have encountered the problem in the last two days.
The top Senate Democrat notes that the agreement means users allow FaceApp to use any content shared with the app, including their real name or username without notifying them.
Similar concerns were raised when Snapchat released a new update for the terms of service for its app in 2015, which asserted its rights to reproduce, modify, and republish photos, and save those photos to Snapchat's servers.
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FaceApp has raised privacy concerns, primarily because users are uploading photographs and device-related information to a service operated by a company based in Russian Federation.
However, it "might store an uploaded photo in the cloud", it stated, in order to facilitate "performance and traffic".
While the company's research and development team is located in Russian Federation, the user data is not transferred to Russian Federation, according to the statement.
Please. Facebook now knows so much about our behaviour and future needs that many of you even believe the company is physically listening to our phone conversations.
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.
At the same time, he also addresses the US Trade and Consumer Protection Commission (FTC), which has to check whether US citizens, especially government and military personnel, are protected against such data misuse.
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.