Popular Russia-based application FaceApp, which allows users to change their appearance to look older or younger, came under fire in the United States Wednesday, with one senator urging an FBI investigation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the FBI and the FTC, the US consumer protection body, to “look into the national security & privacy risks” connected to FaceApp, which is used by millions of Americans but was developed by a Saint Petersburg-based company.
“FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments,” the New York senator said in a letter to the FBI.
“It would be deeply troubling if the sensitive personal information of US citizens was provided to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States,” he added.
Schumer is not the only Democrat who is worried. According to the Washington Post the party’s National Committee has warned campaigners in the primaries ahead of the 2020 presidential election to “delete the app immediately.”
The party is particularly sensitive to any possibility of surveillance involving Moscow after some Democratic officials were targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
FaceApp representatives have not responded to Schumer’s letter but the company’s CEO told the Washington Post that the app did not use the photos for any other purpose.
Yaroslav Goncharov told the newspaper most photos are deleted from its servers within 48 hours and said Russian authorities did not have any access to user data.
FaceApp, which was launched by Russian publisher Wireless Lab in 2017, uses artificial intelligence to modify users’ photos, changing their hair colour, adding wrinkles or subtracting years from their faces.
It is currently the most downloaded free application on Google Play, with more than 100 million users after its new aging filter attracted interest from celebrities including music superstar Drake and NBA champion Steph Curry.
John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.
In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.
"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.
Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge
Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.
“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”
Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war
President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.
"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."