A few days ago the New York Times published a report asserting that certain budget smartphones in the US were sending user’s personal data secretly to a third-party company in China. The firm Kryptowire found that pre-installed software in budget Android phones were responsible for sending call logs, contacts, app usage data and even GPS location logs to third-party Chinese servers.
Obviously this is a privacy nightmare, and while the issue was found on US phones, many people are worried that phones sold to other regions may also be affected by the issue.
We’ve reached out to Cherry Mobile, the largest local brand to date about the issue, and according to Lonson Alejandrino, Product Manager of Cherry Mobile, none of their phones take any private and sensitive personal information to any third party sources.
Here’s their full statement:
Cherry Mobile endeavors to deliver the best possible user experience to its users. With this in mind, in each device is an application called wireless update. As the name implies, the application is used only for pushing updates to the device for bug fixes, latest features or to deliver an operating system (OS) upgrade. We value the privacy of our customers, therefore the devices do not pull vital information from the users.
Local brand Starmobile has also given a statement about this issue:
“We assure our customers that Starmobile devices do not send personal and/or confidential data to anyone without their knowledge or consent. Pre-installed applications in our phones and tablets only serve to enhance device performance and user experience.”