FaceApp Labeled ‘Potential Counterintelligence Threat’ by FBI Over Russia Links

The popular FaceApp has come under fire by United States Senators after the FBI has deemed the app a “potential counterintelligence threat” due to its ties to Russia. The news comes not long after United States Senators deemed Chinese-owned app TikTok as a potential “national security risk.”

“The personal data FaceApp collects from a user’s device could end up in the hands of Russian intelligence services,” Senator Chuck Schumer, via the New York Post. “It is simply not worth the risk.”

Schumer had previously asked the FBI to look into the app and whether it was accessing data that could then be shared with the Kremlin.

From the report:

ROSTOV-ON-DON / RUSSIA - July 16 2019: the iPhone with FaceApp on the screen, faceapp is a popular photo editing application on the App Store - Image

Shutterstock

FaceApp uses artificial intelligence to distort photos selected by users. The platform uploads pictures to servers hosted in the US, Ireland, Australia and Singapore but removes most of them after 48 hours, according to Tyson’s letter. FaceApp CEO Yaroslav Goncharov recently downplayed the American privacy backlash. FaceApp has reportedly said it does not share user data with third parties and that user data is not transferred to Russia.

While the level of FaceApp’s threat has not been determined, the FBI’s designation and letter from the New York Senator are a strong reminder of the steps we can take and the caution we should proceed with when it comes to installing apps on our phone and sharing data.

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