IT firm Meitu denies US media reports photo-editing app invades privacy

By Bai Yunyi and Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/23 15:28:39

Chinese photo-editing app and mobile phone producer Meitu Inc denied foreign media reports that the free app poses a threat to user's privacy by secretly requiring far more information than needed.

The app tracks the user's location, mobile service provider and IP address, and generates a unique identifier to track you, reported CNN on Friday.

The IP address is meant to prevent cheating in business, the national code to approximate the country where the user is located, and the GPS to identify areas for the company's different advertisement strategies, Meitu said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Sunday.

The CNN report also said the app also quietly shares Android users' IMEIs, the unique code that identifies individual devices, and sends that data back to servers in China.

The IMEI code is meant to identify the user's phone model, and it is impossible for the company to bug any phone communication or block phone calls, the company said.

The company stressed that the Meitu app has never required a phone number, which is the most sensitive information.

Some foreign press also said that Meitu is planning to move its servers outside China in response to security concerns raised overseas.

Meitu said it will set up overseas servers for technology purposes, with no functional differences among its servers.

The photo-editing app continues to be available despite "security and privacy concerns" reported by the foreign media.

The app, which turns users into Japanese-style anime characters, has already been downloaded a billion times, with six billion photos generated every month, according to data from Boston Standard's report on Friday.

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