The hype (and subsequent fears) of FaceApp, the photo-morphing app, signal a growing distrust of the Internet and foreign adversaries. Their Terms and Conditions grants them “a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide” license to use people’s photos, names, and likeness however they please.
The app has been downloaded by more than 12.7 million new users since July 10, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Many worry about the Russian-based company’s intentions with more than 80 million photos.
What they’re saying: The DNC alerted 2020 campaigns, state parties, and others in the “Democratic ecosystem” to delete the app immediately, stating that the data risk was not worth it.
Senate Minority Leader sent a letter to the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to launch a national security investigation and urged the officials to take steps “to mitigate the risk presented by the aggregate of data.”
- Following the 2016 Russian campaign, the DNC has taken aggressive stances to combat hackings, including rebuffing cybersecurity and introducing nationwide training campaigns.
Expert Opinion: Experts are stating that this is nothing new, but the fact that FaceApp originated in Russia has sparked the widespread public upheaval. For context, American-based companies, like Snapchat and Facebook, have quite similar privacy policies.
- Without an American-style GDPR, cybersecurity and bipartisan policy wonks believe we are ill-prepared for these 21st-century concerns.
2020 Foreign Interference: Besides the President of the United States (illegally) inviting foreign governments to intervene in our democratic elections, groups and individuals, alike, now have the ability to spread misinformation by creating Deep Fakes, manipulating voices and doctoring videos.