Consumer data leaks have become customary, a few months ago there was an immense leak of data by the social media giant Facebook. Now a flashing news alerts us that some Chinese applications are often fabricated with a “backdoor” feature, allowing the government and the manufacturer to keep a beady eye on the user’s data and rack it up.
Chinese applications are snooping – how did it unmask?
Vivo Nex a phone with an ultra slim bezel and is one of those very few Chinese phones which get launches outside of China. The phone has been set afloat on the Chinese market last month and now that the users have started using the phone some very dangerous observations have been divulged.
If you’re not aware, Vivo Nex comes with a motorized camera which works whenever you need a camera. This particular piece of tech is the sole reason that users were able to unveil which Chinese apps are actually snooping you. Last month when some Chinese users opened applications like Giant QQ browser and travel booking app Ctrip, the motorized camera gets self-triggered.
A Weibo user also reported that whenever he opens a new chat on the messaging app Telegram the camera gets self-activated. As the rumors spread a lot of other cases have come to known, one the prominent case is the Baidu’s voice-centric application, which has the permission for both camera and the sound recording function of the phone. Whenever the voice-centric application has used the camera and the recording function gets activated.
The explanation given by any of the consortia wasn’t reassuring, though the messaging app giant telegram quickly acts on the issue and fix the camera bug. While the others like the Tencent gave the unsatisfactory explanations and defending the self-activation of them by saying that browser needs to compose the camera to scan QR codes and is not used for any spying purposes or leaking the user’s data.
Baidu has given one of the most irrational explanation without considering their past encounter with the same issue, they say that self-recording is not a backdoor feature rather a front door feature which helps the application adjust to the background noise and refrain its voice input function.
These are some of the encounters of the users and explanations given by the tech giants, but are the explanations are credible? will they fix this bug or let it continue with some of these groundless explanations? Is it safe to use these Chinese applications and software? Should we take a bit of the chance to compromise our personal information? These are some question remains unanswered.
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