The growing popularity of FaceApp, a photo-filtering app that appeals to smartphone users with their ability to change the features of each face, such as pinching years of wrinkles, has prompted Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer to conduct a US investigation Demanding the Alliance The Russian-based company believes there are potential national security and privacy risks for millions of Americans.
"It would be extremely disturbing if the sensitive personal data of US citizens were provided to a hostile foreign power that actively opposes cyber-hostilities the United States," said Schumer in a letter ] to the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission.
Application, including government personnel and members of the military service, from compromising, "wrote the Senator.
BIG: Notify if you used #FaceApp :
Because millions of Americans used it
It belongs to a Russian-based company  And users must grant irrevocable access to their personal photos and data. pic.twitter.com/cejLLwBQcr
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 18, 2019
Even being the proponents of privacy Concerning security concerns, FaceApps' ability to transform cups attracted celebrities – or anyone whose picture was stored on their phone – like Drake and the Jonas Brothers, to look at gray hair and wrinkles to try. On Wednesday, FaceApp outperformed the Apple and Google app download charts.
Schumers appeal reflected the concerns of the Democratic National Committee, which feared that the artificial intelligence of a country that launched a vulnerable face recognition data could provide hacking campaign against the party during the 2016 elections.
The DNC has since then, its cybersecurity efforts have expanded, including the involvement of Bob Lord, the Chief Security Officer.
In an e-mail to the campaigners of the 2020 presidential campaign, Lord "called for people in the democratic ecosystem" against using an app that could have access to the photos of their users.
"It's not clear at this point what privacy risks exist, but it's clear that the benefits of avoiding the app outweigh the risks," Lord said in a message that was first reported by CNN. "If you or your coworkers have already used the app, we recommend that you delete it immediately."
Prior to the Democratic warnings, FaceApp responded to a flood of inquiries as to whether and where user data is stored. FaceApp said in a statement to TechCrunch that while the R & D team is based in Russia, it does not transfer any user data to it.
The company also claims that "most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours of the upload date."
Founder Yaroslav Goncharov told the site that FaceApp, based in St. Petersburg, uses the Amazon and Google Cloud cloud platform to host the app data where they process "most" photos. According to FaceApp, uploaded photos can be temporarily saved for Performance and Traffic to ensure that users do not repeatedly upload the same photo when the platform finishes editing.
Users have expressed concerns that the app has access to all their content from the iOS or Android photo library, even if the user sets the photo permissions to "Never."
FaceApp, however, told TechCrunch that only photos selected by the user or captured in the app will be processed. Security researchers have done their own work to support this claim. Will Strafach, a security researcher, said he can find no evidence that the app uploads the camera roll to remote servers.
FaceApp also said that 99% of users do not log in and z This group of users does not have access to identifying data.
Many privacy professionals are wary of these types of machine-learned apps, especially in times of Cambridge Analytica. Over the past year, up to 87 million Facebook users have been included in their personal data by the third-party data analytics company after appearing to have violated Facebook's policies.
But it is this parenthesis that gives scope to a perpetual," unidentified corporate group "that holds a red flag for Liz O & Sullivan, a technology technologist at the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, and leaves the door for another scandal
"My impression of it was, frankly, the shock that so many people in this climate were so ready to upload their image to a seemingly unknown server without really understanding what that data would feed," she said.
"As far as we know, there could be a military application, there could be a police application. "O & # 39; Sulli van said of FaceApp.
In many cases, O & Sullivan said, experiences the public does not know what data is collected about them until we see personal information published on request of the Freedom of Information Act.
As NPR reported this month, the researchers received records of such a request that immigration and Customs Enforcement dismantles an extensive database of face recognition driving license photos that may be available ise used for undocumented migrants. Researchers have concluded that facial recognition technology is biased and imperfect, endangering innocent people.
O & Sullivan wants more regulation to protect consumers.
Like many security attorneys in the US Watch Europe's proving ground as a trial against technology giants in the framework of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new Data Protection Act of the European Union.