U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on the FBI and Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to investigate the viral FaceApp over potential security issues. Schumer said in a letter the Russia-based app could pose a threat to Americans’ privacy. “It would be deeply troubling if the sensitive personal information of U.S. citizens was provided to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States,” he wrote.

FaceApp, which can edit photos to make people appear different ages, dominated social media platforms this week, but some users expressed concern that the app had access their photo libraries. Security researcher Will Strafach tried to assuage those concerns, noting that the app only uploads the photos users select for editing. But he also said FaceApp should have done more to inform consumers. “Bottom line is they were handling sensitive data, and they handled it cavalierly, and that’s just not cool,” Strafach said.

FaceApp later clarified its privacy policy and denied the possibility of Russian abuse of users’ photos. “Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia,” FaceApp said in a statement to TechCrunch. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media apps all require photo library sharing to send photos through the app.



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