Vietnamese techies warn Chinese photo app collects too much personal info

By Tuan Hung   February 16, 2017 | 11:50 pm PT
Pitu, a popular photo animation and editing app, asks users for personal information experts deem unnecessary.

Experts recently warned social media users about Pitu, a Chinese mobile application that allows users to animate their self-portraits (or selfies).


Vietnamese users express an interest in Pitu’s photo. 

The purported photo editing application asks for permission to access user's microphone, GPS location, the right to open and close other applications, browsing history, bookmarks, phone number and phone ID.

Ngo Tran Vu from Nam Truong Son Security Company, told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper that the information Pitu collects from users could be sold to other companies, who will target them with advertising.

Moreover, Vu said the popularity of the app could lead to the spread of something like data-collecting malware or a virus.

A similar Chinese application called Meitu raised concerns among Western users after requiring seemingly irrelevant access to users’ GPS locations, cell carrier information, Wi-Fi connection data, SIM card information and jailbreak status.

The Chinese news outlet Sina quoted Meitu’s developers as saying the user data is only used to optimize the app's performance and engage users with better in-app advertisements.

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