Apps with privacy issues you should avoid at all costs


Google Play Store and Apple App Store do everything possible to prevent malicious apps from accessing their stores. However, the developers of these apps are thinking up new ways to collect user data. Imagine a music streaming app asking for permission to make changes to your camera or phone log. These are malicious ways that some applications use to obtain information from users. In China, these tactics are very common. Recently, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center monitored and found 17 mobile apps to have privacy breaches. These applications violate the relevant provisions of the “Network Security Law” and the “Personal Information Protection Law”.

Below are different groups of apps and how they violate user privacy. These apps are mostly in China, but some global users use Chinese apps, so it’s good to check the list.

1. Conceals information from users

These applications do not inform users of the type of personal information they collect. They also don’t tell users how long the apps they collect are stored. These are apps with privacy issues and violations. There are four apps that violate this, the apps are

  • “DUSHAOFEI” (version 3.1.1, application treasure)
  • “Search” (Version 3.5.1, Pea Pod)
  • “Le Ye Sky” (version 2.9.20, mobile assistant 360)
  • “Dolphin Home” (version 2.9.7, Baidu mobile assistant)

2. Do not display user privacy information

These applications do not expressly disclose the privacy rights of their users. Thus, users do not know if the application collects private information. These are apps with privacy issues and violations. The 15 apps that violate this are

  • “Truck Helping Driver” (version 8.27.4, App Store)
  • “Full of Senders” (Version 7.27.4.0, App Store)
  • “DUSHAOFEI” (version 3.1.1, application treasure)
  • “Battle Girl Reloaded” (version 1.34.0, TapTap)
  • “Magic Records Magical Girl Madoka Gaiden” (Version 2.1.10, TapTap)
  • Ski Adventure (Version 2.3.8.14, Pea Pod)
  • “Search” (Version 3.5.1, Pea Pod)
  • “Fen Meng Diary” (version 2.3.8, pea pods)
  • “Mathematics in the wheat field” (version 3.5.9, Pea Pod)
  • “CC Live” (Version 3.9.16, Anzhi Market)
  • “Hengdian Movie City” (Version 6.5.2, 360 Mobile Assistant)
  • Kuan (Version 12.3.2, Mobile Assistant 360)
  • “Su Xiaotuan” (version 3.7.3, 360 mobile assistant)
  • “Le Ye Sky” (version 2.9.20, mobile assistant 360)
  • “Dolphin Home” (version 2.9.7, Baidu mobile assistant)

3. Collection of personal information

These applications obtain user information without informing the user of the type of information they collect. These are apps with privacy issues and violations. There are six apps that violate this, the apps are

  • Ski Adventure (Version 2.3.8.14, Pea Pod)
  • “DUSHAOFEI” (version 3.1.1, application treasure)
  • “Hengdian Movie City” (Version 6.5.2, 360 Mobile Assistant)
  • “Search” (Version 3.5.1, Pea Pod)
  • “Le Ye Sky” (version 2.9.20, mobile assistant 360)
  • “Dolphin Home” (version 2.9.7, Baidu mobile assistant)

4. Collect user information before asking permission

These apps actually collect users’ personal information before asking for their consent. This means that even if you refuse, it means nothing. An app does that, apps are

5. Difficult to make changes

These apps work more or less like a trap. Once inside, you have no more exit. They do not provide effective functions to correct or delete personal information. Moreover, these apps make it very difficult for users to cancel or delete their personal accounts. Even though it is possible to delete the account, the app sets unreasonable conditions for the cancellation of user accounts. All this is in violation of the privacy and freedom of users. There are four apps that do this, the apps are

  • “Weatherlink” (version 7.68, 360 mobile phone assistant)
  • Ski Adventure (Version 2.3.8.14, Pea Pod)
  • “Search” (Version 3.5.1, Pea Pod)
  • “Su Xiaotuan” (version 3.7.3, 360 mobile assistant)

6. Push blind ads

These applications are highly commercial. They pass blind business information and marketing to individuals through automatic decision-making systems. Moreover, these applications do not offer options that do not correspond to their personal characteristics. Additionally, these apps do not offer users a convenient way to opt out. Of course, all of this is in violation of the user’s privacy. Apps that do this include

  • “Hengdian Movie City” (Version 6.5.2, 360 Mobile Assistant)
  • “Fen Meng Diary” (version 2.3.8, pea pods)

7. Processes User’s Personal Information

These applications proceed to process sensitive personal information of their users without any kind of consent. Thus, users do not even know the type of information that the application processes. In fact, they don’t even know what kind of processing the apps are doing. There are seven applications in this area, applications include

  • “Sina Finance” (version 3.9.34, pea pods)
  • “Truck Helping Driver” (version 8.27.4, App Store)
  • “Full of Senders” (Version 7.27.4.0, App Store)
  • “Battle Girl Reloaded” (version 1.34.0, TapTap)
  • “Magic Records Magical Girl Madoka Gaiden” (Version 2.1.10, TapTap)
  • “CC Live” (Version 3.9.16, Anzhi Market)
  • “Le Ye Sky” (version 2.9.20, mobile assistant 360)

8. Mishandling of underage user information

These apps are very careless when dealing with information about underage users. There are no specific guidelines on how apps handle information from young users. When processing personal information of minors under the age of fourteen, no special rules for processing personal information are available. These applications do not respect the provisions relating to confidentiality. Apps are

  • “Sina Finance” (version 3.9.34, pea pods)
  • “Le Ye Sky” (version 2.9.20, mobile assistant 360)

The National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center reminds users to beware of these applications. The agency warns users (particularly in China) to download, install, and use these apps with caution. Also, when dealing with any of these applications, it is important that users read the user agreement and privacy policy description carefully. It is important that users do not open or agree to unnecessary privacy rights. Also, do not enter personal information at will, maintain and clean related data regularly. All this is necessary to prevent the leakage of users’ personal information. If you want to be safer, uninstall the app immediately from your device if you have it.

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