FaceApp foreign roots could pose threats to user privacy

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A popular smartphone app is catching fire tonight as major security concerns are being raised by computer experts. 

Faceapp which has been downloaded by millions around the world could have certain access to photos and identity and Cyber Space experts want you to be aware of the risks.

Let’s face it no matter how old we are or where we come from, all of us enjoy playing on apps and filter pictures. 

“I think it’s pretty popular because everybody wants to see what they look like when they’re older,” Zoi Hales said.

“It’s in the palm of our hands and it’s easy access,” MSU Computer Science Professor Sarah Lee told us. “We don’t have to be sitting at a computer in our home or office. It is fun, it’s fun to see what we might look like in 20 years.” 

But as Faceapp trends once again security concerns raise with the app being developed and based out of St. Petersburg, Russia by wireless lab. 

“I know the European Union not too long ago passed general data protection, the FaceApp is not compliant with that at all,” Lee continued. “There are a lot of laws and privacy protections that are not guaranteed when we go outside these borders.”

How it works is people can take pictures and edit them to look older, younger or even the opposite gender. But under their terms, Faceapp can then access your IP address, web history and upload your pictures to the cloud. 

“It actually uses AI to map out your entire face,” Matthew Cox of Smartz Web explained. “And it’s actually the same thing apple does to your phone so it knows exactly who you are.”

“I might just delete the app,” Hales said. “That’s dangerous, that’s very dangerous. That can create stalkers; I have my bank stuff on my phone that’s very dangerous.”

Though skeptical coming from overseas, those in cybersecurity do point out selling your information and accessing photos is nothing new for many apps. 

“Nothing is free in this world, you are the commodity,” Smartz Web CEO Blake Howe said. “I mean even with Facebook, Google Maps, all of it you are what they’re making money off of.”

Each expert we spoke with differed on whether the app should be used. But in the end, they say once you upload anything you don’t fully own it anymore.

To read all of FaceApps terms and conditions before downloading the app click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

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