FaceApp raising privacy concerns on social media and among lawmakers

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WASHINGTON – You’ve seen it on your social media: Those pictures of friends and celebrities transformed to look older or younger.

It’s called “Faceapp,” and it’s owned by a Russian company. Lawmakers fear it could be the latest effort by Russians to hack into our digital world.

The viral photos flooding your feeds come from FaceApp, something that lets you transform your appearance to look older, younger, or maybe add a beard.

“That seems like the new social media fad, but it may not be benign at all,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck  Schumer of New York.

Schumer says the app comes from a Russia- based company and grants them access to all your photos, contacts, and other potentially private information.

“The potential for our facial data and the data from all of our friends and family contained in our photos to fall into the hands of something like Russian intelligence or the Russian military is really troubling,” Schumer said.

Schumer is calling on the FBI and Federal Trade Commission to conduct a national security and privacy investigation into the app.
In a letter to the FBI and FTC, Schumer says allowing the app access to our personal photos and data could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens.”

“Make sure you know who you are sharing your information with,” said Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd.

As a former CIA officer, Hurd says we need to be careful.

“While it is a cute app and it is fun to see how you are going to look 75 years from now, making sure you know how that information is going to be used is important,” Hurd said.

And Hurd added Americans need to be on high alert, especially as we head into the next presidential election.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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