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Meitu App News: Popular Selfie App Slammed for Privacy Issues; Security Experts Point Out Sketchy Data Collection

By January 24, 2017 at 7:05 am
Meitu App (Photo : Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Over the past few weeks, Meitu has started to gain popularity in Western countries. It has been a famous app in China and was recently rolled out in Hong Kong. While the app is getting more downloads, security experts have slammed the Chinese app for its alleged privacy problems.

Meitu Requires More Information Than Necessary

According to Tech Crunch, security analysts have revealed that Meitu is requesting too much information from users than what is usually needed. The Chinese app is not the first among many others that request way too much information from consumers. On the other hand, a good number of security experts have pointed out that users should consider their options first before downloading apps like Meitu.

It is pretty much normal for camera apps to request permission to get through a user's camera and camera roll. However, Meitu goes beyond this. Once downloaded on a user's device, it can access the user's location, IMSIs (device identifier numbers), carrier information, and more.

Forensic expert Jonathan Zdziarski said Meitu is one app that may be violating the App Store's data collection regulations. Since the app takes cell carrier information, privacy-conscious consumers may not be happy to find out that the app is able such crucial data.

A spokesperson from Meitu clarified to the outlet that it is working closely with Apple to ensure that users' privacy is protected. "I tend to think our engineers are smart enough and don't have to use stolen codes," the rep added. Apple, on the other hand, has not yet responded to requests for a comment on the issue.

Meitu Denies Selling User Data

In another interview with CNNTech, Zdziarski revealed that the "sketchy" issues reported of the app may actually generate gains for the creators of the app. However, the outlet says Meitu has denied selling consumer information. On the other hand, users can still try to protect their own privacy through the "App Permissions" tab in Android's Settings. As for iOS users, the permissions can be modified under "Privacy."

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