Privacy concerns over latest app craze, FaceApp

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FLINT (WJRT) - (07/17/19) - FaceApp isn't new but the buzz around its aging feature is shedding new light on possible privacy concerns.

There's been a FaceApp explosion in recent days. Your favorite celebrities, athletes and the rest of the Internet have made this app number one for Android and Apple users.

"It's really a cool app that uses artificial intelligence to basically take your face and morph it to the filters it provides," Doug Witten said.

Witten is the cyber defense and computer science director at Baker College.

"What if you're a guy, what if you're a gal, what if you weren't smiling? Here's wrinkles! So it's a cool app," Witten said.

He says the free app comes with a price tag, in the form of your privacy.

"The user acceptance policy let's them use anything they can get off of that information - you, your name, your user name, your locality because they're using geo-spatial information," Witten said.

Researchers are studying just how far the Russian-owned app's reach is, but once you allow it certain privileges and use the app - Witten says the damage is done.

"The potential is there. You have given them access to your information. And you know, as we've talked in the past, what a hacker wants is your information," Witten said. "The fear-mongering comes from...it's from Russia. Would it have been the same outcry if it was developed at MIT? I don't know. But the simple fact remains, that they're getting information about you, but we give that information out in other places."