FaceApp: How to protect your privacy

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There are new warnings about a popular app that gives you a glimpse into the future. FaceApp lets you push the clock forward a few years, showing you what you might look like when you're older. But in recent days, questions have surfaced about the app's privacy policies.

We first warned you about this yesterday and today Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for an investigation into FaceApp.

He tweeted urging the "FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to look into the national security and privacy risks now."
One of FaceApp's most popular features uses artificial intelligence to transform faces to see how you will look in 50 years.

But now concerns about potential privacy and security issues are spreading as fast as the app went viral.

Democratic leaders even warning campaigns to delete the app immediately, namely because the company is based in Russia.

Drexel professor Rob D'Ovidio says, "Most Western nations, including the U.S. have stronger privacy protections on the books and regulations to enforce that."

Senator Schumer is concerned data from FaceApp "may be finding its way into the hands of the Russian government."

But D'Ovodio says, "I don't want to demonize FaceApp because they are just one of people, many companies, many app developers that are doing the same thing. They're collecting information that has nothing to do with the app itself."

He says these are issues consumers should consider before downloading any app.
He says we should all read the terms to see how long photos are stored, and what other information is being collected, such as your browser history and device identifying information.

Your pictures have metadata attached to them, information that includes your location.

And D'Ovodio says to remember that, "when the app is free, you're the product. You're their way to make money."

D'Ovidio also advises you clear your browser history once a week.

And reset your device's advertising ID.

Action News reached out to FaceApp but we have yet to hear back. Its CEO has reportedly said the company deletes most of the photos from its servers after 48 hours and there is a process to request that your data is deleted. He also claims FaceApp is planning to make that clearer on its website.
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