Faceapp being used

What you need to know

  • Chuck Schumer has formally requested an investigation into the app
  • Concerns center around user privacy and data collection.
  • The FTC and FBI have not announced whether or not an investigation will occur.

Faceapp, the AR app that has recently experienced a newfound virality across the internet because of its shockingly good aging filter, might find itself in some hot water with the government.

Originally reported by NBC News, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking both agencies to investigate the app.

Schumer wrote in the letter 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." While some early reports posed the concern that the app was accessing and uploading photos from user's phones without their permission, those ideas have been so far disproven. That does not, however, mean that there isn't any risk or data collection happening with the app.

The privacy policy for Facepp does give the developer the authorization to upload any photos you process in the app, and according to Consumer Reports, the policy gives the company a pretty wide berth when it comes to what the photos can be used for, with or without your specific permission. Justin Brookman, the Director of Privacy and Tech Policy at Consumer Reports, warns users to "be cautious about uploading sensitive data to this company that does not take privacy very seriously, but also reserves broad rights to do whatever they want with your pictures."

The FTC and FBI have not yet released any statements or updates about whether or not they will open an investigation into the app.