CHICAGO (CBS) — Have you tried the viral app that makes you look older?
A privacy expert says you traded your privacy for gray hair and saggy skin.
Celebrities did it—LeBron, Drake, Gordon Ramsey, The Jonas Brothers—and millions joined them, jumping on what is now a top free app online.
The faces of more than 150 million people—and whatever other information they shared on FaceApp—is now owned by a Russia-based company. It can use that data how they please.
Experts call it concerning with facial recognition tech blowing up right now. U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI to launch a national security investigation.
Illinois Institute of Technology Director of Information Technology, Louis McHugh, says all of them traded their privacy for a few wrinkles and greys.
“By uploading your photos to this company, they literally own, perpetually, your photos. Forever,” McHugh said.
And therein lies the lesson- don’t skip the fine print.
“They can do whatever they want with it,” said McHugh.
The fine print is also where the company, based in St. Petersburg, informs users that they will cooperate with law enforcement.
McHugh explained this is where something that seems like fun and games can get murky quick.
“If the Russian government came and said, ‘Give us all these three million people who uploaded their photos,’ they would comply with said demands and that would be the good start of a facial recognition software program,” McHugh said.
Face recognition technology is already in use every day. Users can unlock their phone with their face, for example.
“You’re essentially giving away your fingerprint,” said McHugh. “It could be leveraged to identity theft.”
McHugh says it wouldn’t hurt to start taking your face a little more seriously.
“See what privacy you’re giving up for that neat photo you’re going to post to Facebook,” he said.
FaceApp didn’t respond to CBS 2’s requests for information, but has publicly shared that they are currently overwhelmed by requests to delete data.
The company claims they don’t sell or share that data with third parties.