Serious privacy-related concerns have been raised that a viral selfie app FaceApp stores photos of users on its cloud server since the processing of images is not happening locally on users' device. FaceApp that takes up merely 10MB of your phone's storage belongs to a Russian startup Wireless Lab.
Now, a top US Senator Chuck Schumer is reportedly calling for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe into FaceApp.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer says in the letter Wednesday to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that he is concerned FaceApp could pose "national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens." Schumer is asking law enforcement agencies in the country to assess the situation.
Schumer also says it would be "deeply troubling" if sensitive personal information was provided "to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States." Although many popular apps collect user data, concerns have circulated about FaceApp, which is developed in Russia.
Some iPhone users have also reported concerns about FaceApp allowing users to select photos without explicitly giving photo access to the app.
As for FaceApp, the app grabs a photo only if you specifically select it to see your face change, security researcher and Guardian Firewall CEO Will Strafach said.
Experts believe the confusion may be attributed to an iPhone feature that shows your photo library within the app but doesn’t give the app full access to the library, even though it may appear that way.
“I’m always looking for privacy concerns,” said Strafach, who used a network analyzer tool to track what was happening. “When it’s not happening, it’s not happening.”
There’s a version of FaceApp for Android that doesn’t seem to tap photo libraries the same way, but that’s not to say the app isn’t free of problems, Strafach said.
(With inputs from AP)