Red Scare: Schumer Calls for FBI Probe into FaceApp Because It’s a Russian Company; Dems Fear Another DNC Email Hack

  • Amid accusations that the FaceApp aging filter could be a security threat and a way for Russian hackers to obtain user info, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for an FBI investigation into the app and the company.
  • FaceApp is a product of Wireless Lab, a St. Petersburg, Russia company, which Schumer has “serious concerns” about the way the company handles the personal data of its users.
  • Security experts warn that the app’s terms of service grants FaceApp “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.”
  • Schumer wrote letters to the FBI and the FTC that read: “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.”
  • Schumer also wrote that user info “may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government, or entities with ties to the Russian government.”
  • On Wednesday, Schumer tweeted: “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.”
  • According to reports: “the Democratic National Committee, however, still smarting from the Russia-linked 2016 cyberattacks that resulted in the leaking of DNC emails, sent an email to Democratic presidential campaigns telling them not to use the app.”
  • DNC security officer Bob Lord wrote a memo: “This app allows users to perform different transformations on photos of people, such as aging the person in the picture. Unfortunately, this novelty is not without risk: FaceApp was developed by Russians.”
  • FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov said during a “Washington Post” interview that the majority of photos uploaded to the app are erased after 48 hours. He also said that the Russian government couldn’t access users’ info.

Reference Links

  • RT: Schumer, DNC up in arms over face manipulation app created by ‘the Russians’ READ
  • Gizmodo: Senator Finally Demands FBI Probe of Faceboo… Er, FaceApp? READ
  • Fox Business: FaceApp under fire as lawmakers ask FBI to review viral app READ
  • USA TODAY: DNC tells 2020 presidential candidates to stop using FaceApp as Schumer calls for investigation READ

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