When it comes to managing our finances to meditating celebrity style, we like to turn to smartphone apps. We count on ’em to simplify our lives — so we have time to focus on the things that really matter. Recently, a new selfie app from China called Meitu has been going viral with it’s “anime” filtering. You might have seen photos popping up all over the internet, and it’s all fun and games until your private information gets leaked.
Meitu isn’t a new app. Its ability to smooth your skin, digitally apply makeup and adjust your features has been ultra popular in China for a long time. But it’s only made the jump to the states recently, and you’ve likely seen anime selfies popping up all over your feed. However, pros are warning against serious security flaws within the app.
Security experts have been quick to outline the risks that come with downloading Meitu. While a simple selfie app should really only need access to your phone’s camera, Meitu asks for a lot more. The app can see what other apps you’re running on your phone, your location, your device ID number (on Android phones only), call information and more. Yikes! It’s starting to sound an awful lot like some sort of surveillance app disguised as something cutesy. If you don’t mind giving so much of your personal information away in exchange for an admittedly useless app, by all means, proceed. But if this spooks you (and rightly so!), we recommend avoiding the app altogether.
Unfortunately, Meitu is not the only free app to ask for way more permissions than necessary, but the good news is that this has opened up a lot of discussion on data sharing and what information we may be giving up without even realizing it.
Have you seen any apps with suspicious permissions? Discuss @BritandCo!
(h/t TechCrunch, photos via Meitu)