Experts issue privacy warnings over Russian-owned FaceApp

Launched in 2017, FaceApp isn't necessarily new. But it's making headlines again because the app has gotten good -- like, eerily good -- at showing users what they'll look like when they age. (CNN)

CLEVELAND — Experts are issuing a warning to users of the viral photo filter app, FaceApp, saying to be cautious while using it.

FaceApp is a photo filter app that allows you to upload a photo of yourself and then artificial intelligence changes your looks, making you appear either older or younger.

However, experts are warning that this free app poses multiple security concerns, according to the Independent.

FaceApp, developed in 2017 by a Russian company, makes it very clear in the privacy policy that it can collect and store photos, as well as information from your phone, to use for ads or other forms of marketing.

“You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you,” FaceApp’s terms state.

Essentially, the company can use your photos, which initially appear to be uploaded privately, in very public ways.  But, the user must choose the photo they want and upload it for FaceApp to have access to the image.

Wednesday, the FaceApp developers released a statement explaining that images are shared “anonymously” and they cannot identify the user or any other data based on their pictures.  They also said they do not sell or share any user data with third parties.

You can read the company’s privacy policy here.

Experts say that these terms are fairly standard within photo apps.  It is also required for the functionality of the app to have access to the user’s photos.

However, the fact that very little is known about the app, and because it was developed in Russia, some are warning it is best not to use it or at least be careful while using it.

In fact, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday, asking the agencies to investigate the app, NBC News reports.

Schumer reportedly 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.”

More on FaceApp, here.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.