Although earlier concerns about photo aging app FaceApp have been basically disproven, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has officially called on the FBI and FTC to investigate the app, citing national security concerns. In related news, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) the DNC has warned presidential candidates and campaign officials not to use the app.
Earlier this week, Joshua Nozzi took to Twitter to share his belief that FaceApp, which can either make a photo’s subject look older or younger, uploaded all of the photos on his device to the cloud, not just the one he’d chosen to edit.
Nozzi said that once he’d given the app access to his photos, it started “listing them slowly a row at a time, almost like network delays.” He says he then enabled Airplane mode on his device and all of the images listed instantly. However, since he was offline, he wasn’t allowed to select any of the photos. He took this as an indication that FaceApp was uploading his photos.
However, this theory was disproved by other users who used utilities to examine the network traffic from the app. Results showed there was no evidence that any photo other than the selected one were being sent anywhere.
I haven’t been able to replicate either. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the loading people see is the app filtering the photos library for pictures with faces (locally). The picture that’s selected is sent to a server tho. https://t.co/Fqxv3ZjTsA
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) July 17, 2019
FaceApp developers have also stated that the the cloud servers used to process the selected photo are Amazon Web Services servers and are not based in Russia.
However, any good politician doesn’t let the facts stand in the way of getting his name in front of the press. NBC reports that Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has called upon the FBI and FTC to investigate FaceApp, based on the initial reports and over the fact that the app was developed in Russia.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking the agencies to investigate the app.
Schumer wrote that he has “serious concerns regarding both the protection of the data that is being aggregated as well as whether users are aware of who may have access to it.”
To add to the fun, CNN reports that the DNC has warned presidential candidates and campaign officials away form using the app.
The Democratic National Committee sent a security alert to 2020 presidential campaigns Wednesday afternoon warning them not to use the popular smartphone application FaceApp, CNN has learned.
“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,” the alert from Bob Lord, the DNC’s chief security officer, read.
I’m sure we’ll hear more about this, so stay tuned.