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Schumer Seeks FBI, FTC Investigation of FaceApp

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has asked the FBI and Federal Trade Commission to look into the face morphing FaceApp from a company headquartered in Russia, concerned the Russian government might be getting access to users' personal data. 

According to Appfigures, it is the top-ranked iOS App Store app. 

The app takes photos and makes the subjects appear older (see photos below) or younger or changes men to women, women to men, or the unhip to the hip. 

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Washington reporter John Eggerton before FaceApp
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Washington reporter John Eggerton aged through FaceApp

It also may be harvesting more data than users know, said Schumer. 

"In order to operate the application, users must provide the company full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data," said Schumer. "In practice, providing this level of access to a user's data could mean that any photos taken with the application could be used publicly or privately in the future without a user's consent," he said. 

Schumer said 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." 

He wants the FBI to mitigate the risk of the app's aggregation data, and for the FTC to investigate whether there are "adequate" privacy safeguards for American users of the app, including government personnel and members of the military. If not, it wants the FTC to issue a warning to that effect.