Digital Transformation

Release of FaceApp's image ageing tech sparks calls for FBI to investigate

By John Glenday | Reporter

July 18, 2019 | 3 min read

The FBI has been called on to investigate a Russian based facial transformation app amid fears that the service could pose a security risk to users.

FaceApp has enjoyed a surge in viral popularity as people rush to digitally manipulate their image to appear older, younger, happier or even switch gender.

Such fun applications could hide a darker side however with US senate minority leader Chuck Schumer calling for a formal probe to be launched amid concern that the app will retain all uploaded selfies, a practice Schumer believes poses ‘national security and privacy risks for millions of US citizens’.

FaceApp

FBI urged to investigate Russia-based FaceApp

Schumer is quoted as saying: “FaceApp's location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of US citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments.”

Dismissing such suggestions however the developers countered that it deletes most images from its servers within 48 hours, adding; “99 percent of users don't log in; therefore, we don't have access to any data that could identify a person.”

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FaceApp utilises a proprietary neural network which harnesses AI techniques to redraw facial features in an eerily lifelike manner, reflecting recent advances in facial recognition technology.

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