The viral app that uses AI to see what you'll look like older responds to privacy concerns.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.
As quickly as AI-based FaceApp took the spotlight, concerns about
began to circulate over the app uploading users' photos to the cloud. Jane Wong, a well-known app tipster on Twitter, tweeted on Wednesday that she didn't find anything too "fishy" when she explored the app's code but wished there was an option for users to delete their photos from the server.
In response to privacy concerns, FaceApp on Wednesday provided a statement, first to TechCrunch, saying most images are deleted from their servers within two days of the upload date.
"Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date," FaceApp said in the statement. "We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority."
In its statement, FaceApp said it performs most of its photo processing in the cloud, but it doesn't transfer photos from the phones that haven't been selected for editing to the cloud. The app said it might store an uploaded photo in the cloud for performance and traffic. The app also noted that all FaceApp's features are available without logging in and no data is sold or shared.
"Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia," the app added.
"I have 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," he wrote.
Schumer added that FaceApp's location in Russia "raises questions" on how US citizens' data is being used, especially in relation to foreign governments.
"Russia remains a significant counterintelligence threat," Schumer wrote. "I would urge that steps be immediately taken by the FBI to mitigate the risk presented by the aggregation of this data."
First published July 17 10:11 a.m. PT. Update, 4:52 p.m. PT: Adds info about Sen. Schumer's concerns.
Watch this: I got my face professionally scanned for wrinkles and UV spots