FaceApp Isn't Stealing Your Data (As Far As We Can Tell)

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FaceApp — the photo-transforming smartphone app that recently went viral after Drake, LeBron James, the Stranger Things cast, and many more shared AI-aged selfies on social media — has had a hell of a week.

On Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee sent a notice to 2020 presidential campaigns, urging them to delete the app “immediately” over concerns that there was no way to know what FaceApp was doing with the data. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission, asking for an investigation. FaceApp “could pose national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens,” he cautioned. And moms the world over texted their kids to delete the app, just in case.

To be sure, FaceApp’s terms of service are incredibly broad. Its permissions explicitly claim a right to a “perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid” license once


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