If you’ve been active on social media the past couple weeks you have surely by now been exposed to countless of wrinkled, raisin spotted, aged faces of peers and celebrities. The popular FaceApp allows the user to take a picture of themselves in the present or a previously taken photograph and drastically age every face to look 40 years older or younger. It may seem like harmless fun, but FaceApp now currently owns access to more than 150 million people’s faces and names. While FaceApp’s user agreement terms are actually not so different from popular platforms like Facebook, it gives FaceApp’s creators absolute control and ability to do whatever they want with your pictures. Given that some of the creators of FaceApp are based in Russia, this has given rise to a concern that a purpose of the app is for the users to give up information about yourself for Russian hackers to collect and store.
By allowing an app like FaceApp access to your phone’s pictures and using the app you are providing them with not only personal details about yourself but a focused recent image of your face. All of this information can be used to essentially create a digital record of you. Although FaceApp has not done anything illegal or malicious with the data collected, US Senator Chuck Schumer asked the FBI and FTC to conduct a national security and privacy investigation into FaceApp.