Verizon Faces Accusation of Privacy Issues with Their New App

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EFF claims that Verizon’s new app will invade the privacy of their users

A report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) informed users that Verizon was planning to install an app resembling spyware on the Android phones of their subscribers. Verizon answered to the accusations and said that the app in question, AppFlash, only acted as a test for LG K20 V. Also, users can disable the app.

Using private data to recommend ads

Verizon announced the release of AppFlash, which is basically a search tool working on Android smartphones. However, this app might invade the users’ privacy. EFF stated that the activity of AppFlash resembled spyware. Among others, the app registers what other apps the owners use, and how often they use these apps.

EFF thinks that Verizon is planning to use this app to deliver ads to their users. By seeing what they are interested in and what apps they use, they would know what ads to deliver to the users. Needless to say, users became worried that their private data would be used for such purposes.

Verizon explained how their app works

Verizon insisted on clarifying what the purpose of the app is. AppFlash collects the following information: the mobile number of the user, the identifier, type, and operating system of the device, and how the user interacts with AppFlash. Indeed, it will also take a list of all the installed apps on the user’s device.

What makes users worried is the possibility that the app might gain access to their contacts or their location. In the light of the recent decision of the Congress to change the internet privacy policy, more users are worried about their data. They are very careful with the apps that access their privacy and try to prevent the selling of their information without them agreeing first.

Again, Verizon felt the need to clarify some things. They do not sell any data without consent. AppFlash contains an option which allows users to decide if they want to have their private information sold or not. Also, they can opt for the total disabling of the app.

Yes, you may disable the app, but you cannot delete it from your phone. The deletion works only if you are willing to root your smartphone. Verizon announced the rolling out of the app in the near future. Thus, make sure you disable AppFlash and prevent it from collecting your data.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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