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N4T Investigators: FaceApp Fears

TUCSON – There is growing concern about the wildly popular FaceApp, that lets users change their face.

FaceApp is now number one on iPhones and Android devices, with more than 100-million installations.

Now, U.S. lawmakers want to know what the Russian-based company that makes the app is doing with all your photos.

Senator Chuck Schumer has sent a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission, calling for an investigation into whether personal data uploaded by millions of Americans onto FaceApp, may be ending up in the hands of the Russian government.

Local tech experts are also urging caution when deciding to download the app.

“Even if they have no malicious intent, which I don’t believe they do – what if they got hacked? Now your data is out in the wild,” said Jack Enfield, vice president of Computer Dimensions.

Enfield says potential security issues with FaceApp are especially troubling, given the increasing use of facial recognition technology.

“Common sense is a big part of it, just using some type of discretion. If you’re not sure, then you probably shouldn’t do it,” Enfield said.

In a statement, the app developer says user data is not transferred to Russia they don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.

But in the company’s terms of service, users agree to the “transfer and storage of your information in and to the U.S. and other countries.”

FaceApp says its server deletes most photos after two days.

Bottom line: tech experts say if you do decide to download the FaceApp, or any other app, make sure you know what you’re getting into.

“I think that you really just need to make sure that you read the fine print in the Terms of Use, and don’t share any information that you don’t think you want out there,” Enfield said.

Paul Birmingham

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