What is Meitu and why is it going viral?

This app could be a potential security nightmare.

Meet Meitu, the Chinese photo-filter app that Anime-fies your selfies to cartoon characters. Chances are you may not know it yet. And chances are, you’ve just downloaded it. No matter what, you have to be aware of the fact that this app is seeking excessive permissions, GPS access for instance (to just apply filters to your photos) while installing the app. Sounds fishy, right?

What is Meitu and why is it going viral?

Security researchers have found that the Meitu app’s code has a lot of tracking code which asks permissions for running apps, track location via GPS, device’s unique identification numbers like the IMEI, call information, MAC address, and much more. Clearly, an app which turns selfies to anime-like images doesn’t need such permissions.

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Moreover, the security researchers claim that this information will be sold to the ad companies for ad targeting. This is not the first time we have seen such accusations made on Chinese apps. In fact, similar accusations were made on WeChat initially for collecting user’s private data. 

So, we recommend our users to stay safe from such apps and think twice before giving permissions to features that will be of no use to apps.  

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