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image courtesy of / Google Play Store

Have you ever downloaded Meitu? Meitu is one of the world’s popular beautifying/selfie-enhancing app that gives your selfies a magic effect. Since its 2008 launch in China, it is available in 26 countries and has garnered more than 430 million users outside China. 
Meitu is taking the world by storm with it’s ability to turn mere pictures into anime characters and unique figures, such as Kawaii and much more. However, the app had also raised red flags with security researchers for its excessive collection of data from users. Someone have said on Twitter ” You get to look kawaii for selling all your personal data and soul to China.

But what kind of information did it send actually to Chinese servers? The app just requests access not only to your camera and photos but also seeks GPS location, service provider information, Wi-Fi connection data, SIM card information, jailbreak/root status, and various other personal identifiers such as IMEI, that could be used for tracking purposes which has raised the alarm.
Here are some tweets with their photos that was processed through the Meitu app.

However, security researchers confirmed that the app has the permissions that ticked their concern.

But, despite of that obvious information hoarding, Meitu told CNet that it is not selling customer data to anyone but is using the data collection code because the company itself is headquartered in China, where tracking services provided by the Apple App Store and Google Play are blocked.

“To get around this, Meitu employs a combination of third-party and in-house data tracking systems to make sure the user data tracked is consistent,” said a Meitu spokesperson.

“Furthermore, the data collected is sent securely, using multi-layer encryption to servers equipped with advanced firewall, IDS and IPS protection to block external attacks.”

Another possibility why this is done, according to Digital Trends, is that Meitu is collecting information to comply with the new Chinese government regulations that requires app makers to identify their users and prevent them from uploading banned content.

Will you try to sell your privacy just to get these kind of photos? Let us know in the comments down below! – and share this post if you think this is not good.