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Arkansas AG lawsuit claims Temu’s purchasing app is ‘harmful malware’

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Arkansas Lawyer Basic Tim Griffin made sweeping claims in opposition to e-commerce app Temu in a lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing the corporate of violating state legislation in opposition to misleading commerce practices.

“Temu purports to be a web-based purchasing platform, however it’s harmful malware, surreptitiously granting itself entry to just about all knowledge on a person’s cellular phone,” Griffin alleges.

Temu on the App Retailer.
Screenshot: App Retailer / Google Play

“Temu’s conduct got here to gentle following the elimination of the Pinduoduo app from Google’s Play Retailer because of the presence of malware that exploited vulnerabilities in customers’ cellphone working techniques and allowed the app not solely to achieve undetected entry to just about all knowledge saved on the telephones, but additionally to recompile itself and doubtlessly change its properties as soon as put in, in a fashion designed to keep away from detection,” the lawsuit claims, pointing to concerns from Apple about Temu’s compliance with knowledge safety transparency requirements. Apple advised Politico final yr the app was accessible on its app retailer after resolving the considerations.

The lawsuit alleges that Temu’s app could also be much more harmful than Pinduoduo’s. It cites an article from Grizzly Research, a agency “targeted on producing differentiated analysis insights on publicly traded corporations by in-depth due diligence.” The lawsuit cites findings within the report that “the Temu app has the aptitude to hack customers’ telephones and override knowledge privateness settings that customers have purposely set to forestall their knowledge from being accessed.”

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The AG claims that Temu collects much more knowledge than essential to run a purchasing app, together with delicate or personally identifiable data. For instance, the go well with alleges that Temu misleads customers in its requests to entry data, akin to location, when importing a photograph. “An affordable client would assume that the situation permission is confined to using picture uploads. The permission, nonetheless, extends to any time the person engages with the Temu app,” the go well with claims. It additionally alleges that Temu “sneaks” permissions to entry audio and visible recording and storage on a tool.

Temu, Google, and Apple didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

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