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Jay Z's Magna Carta Android app is slammed over privacy fears

Could face an FTC investigation
Tue Jul 16 2013, 16:15
Jay Z Magna Carta

RAPPER AND BUSINESSMAN Jay Z's Magna Carta Android application has come under fire from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) for unnecessarily collecting Android users' personal details.

Jay Z distributed his latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail to Samsung smartphone owners before its release, via a dedicated app.

However, it looks like users clamouring to hear the album first should have thought twice before downloading the app. According to EPIC, Samsung did not properly inform users about the data the app collects, which reportedly includes sensitive information such as contacts, social network log-ins and other applications installed on the phone.

The group is arguing that these details are not necessary for the app's purpose, and has asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate further.

EPIC said in its complaint (PDF), "Samsung failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the Magna Carta app, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimization procedures."

Samsung has yet to respond to our request for comment, but the firm defended the app in a statement sent to the Los Angeles Times.

"Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications," it said.

"Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process."

This isn't the first problem Jay Z's app has had, taking the rapper's running total to 101. Following its release, hackers created a malicious version of the app and put it on the Google Play store. µ


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