'It is overblown': Expert quells FaceApp security fears

If you’re one of the thousands of people who downloaded the FaceApp in the past week, you’ve also probably heard a thing or two about the warnings.

The warnings say the app developer is a subsidiary of a Russian company, and some U.S. lawmakers are worried about what it’s doing with your data.

One cybersecurity expert that spoke to FOX 9 Monday says the warnings may be overblown.

The pictures that flooded your social media feeds of friends looking 30 years older is from the augmented reality application that has ties to a Russian company.

“FaceApp, it’s a big scare,” said Benjamin Brooks, of Beryllium Infosec Collaborative. “It’s actually relatively benign.”

Brooks says FaceApp is not that much of a threat.

“It is overblown,” he said. “Because even though this company is owned out of country, it’s not information that can be used directly against you to steal your identity and that’s what a lot of the claims have been.”

FaceApp’s terms of use agreement states the user grants FaceApp a perpetual license to use your content. Its privacy policy says it also uses analytics to track how you use the app.

It then uses that information to target you with online ads. It’s how most free apps work.

“Anytime you have any sort of free application, you didn’t pay for it, it’s being monetized in another way. You’re the product. You are being sold on the internet or at least the information that you are giving up is being sold on the internet,” Brooks said.

It’s another reason why you need to scrutinize any app before you download it.

“One of the best things consumers can do is whenever they decide they want to install a new application or use a new service, they should really consider what it is that the service does for them and what kind of information that it is asking.  And then take a second to think, do I want to give this to the entire internet?” Brooks recommended.

Brooks says that when it comes to monetizing your data, Facebook is a lot scarier than FaceApp.