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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Democratic National Committee warned 2020 presidential campaigns that they should not use the viral facial-altering FaceApp because it was developed in Russia, CNN reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Ina Fried: Lots of apps have access to your photos. However, since FaceApp is not based in the U.S., it could be harder to track what is eventually done with the images and harder to potentially sue later for misuse. And anything Russia-related raises additional alarm bells given that country’s efforts to interfere with U.S. elections.

“This novelty is not without risk: FaceApp was developed by Russians. It’s not clear at this point what the privacy risks are, but what is clear is that the benefits of avoiding the app outweigh the risks. ... If you or any of your staff have already used the app, we recommend that they delete the app immediately.”
— DNC security chief Bob Lord's alert to 2020 campaigns

To be clear: FaceApp's founder and chief executive Yaroslav Goncharov told TechCrunch that the app's research-and-development team is based in Russia, but none of its user data is actually transferred into the country, the Washington Post reports. Goncharov said “most images” are deleted from FaceApp's servers within 48 hours, per the Post.

The impact: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Wednesday evening for the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate FaceApp's national security and privacy risks. He emphasized that the app is "owned by a Russia-based company."

Go deeper: For hacked campaigns, 2020 might as well be 2016

Go deeper

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas "alternate" Trump electors

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) addresses the media after a House Jan. 6 select committee hearing in July 2021. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Friday announced subpoenas for more than a dozen people who led groups of "alternate electors" for former President Donald Trump.

Why it matters: Slates of fake electors organized by pro-Trump forces in the wake of the 2020 election have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks around the one-year anniversary of the attack.

Swastikas found outside Union Station in Washington, D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker