BLU settles with FTC, agrees not to misrepresent the security of its phones

BLU settles with FTC, agrees not to misrepresent the security of its phones
Back in November 2016, we told you about a story in The New York Times that claimed certain Android phones were sending users' personal data to servers in China. The software, created by Shanghai Adups Technology Company, is on hundreds of millions of active Android handsets. Among the manufacturers whose phones had this software installed were two firms that shouldn't surprise you in 2018, Huawei and ZTE. But a third manufacturer is one that you might have never heard of, and is actually located in Miami, Florida. The name of that company is BLU Products.

BLU co-owner and CEO Samuel Ohev-Zion said back in 2016 that he didn't know that the Adups software was on his company's phones (which we have to admit is hard to believe). His claim that the software was removed from all BLU handsets can also be met by a healthy dose of skepticism since it was discovered on BLU models as recently as last July.

Last week, the FTC announced that it had reached a settlement with BLU Products and Ohev-Zion. As part of the deal, "BLU must implement a comprehensive data security program to help prevent unauthorized access of consumers’ personal information and address security risks related to BLU phones." According to the press release issued by the regulatory agency dated April 30th, the Adups software that was on BLU's handsets collected complete text messages, real-time location data, call and text message logs with phone numbers included, contact lists and the name of apps loaded on BLU devices.

The FTC notes that BLU allowed the Adups software to remain on older models (even after the company claimed to have removed it from all of its handsets). The agency said that as a result, the company allowed the spyware to continue to collect data as it failed to use "adequate oversight." BLU will be subject to a third party assessment of its security program every other year for a total of twenty years. The company's record keeping and compliance monitoring will also face increased scrutiny.


Even with the FTC settlement, it might be a cold day in Miami before anyone feels safe using a BLU phone.
source: FTC

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7 Comments

1. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

That concerns only China phones. I still don't understand why the tech media so much love china phones! China OEMs are nothing on innovations and real tech- just like Apple The only explanation could be, because they hope China to stop Samsung domination, so Apple to look better.

2. Subie

Posts: 2261; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Blu is an American company and some of their phones with Adups software were sold in America. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/us/politics/china-phones-software-security.html

3. Alan01

Posts: 564; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Klinton, it pays to read what I write: "But a third manufacturer is one that you might have never heard of, and is actually located in Miami, Florida. The name of that company is BLU Products." Regards, Alan

6. mootu

Posts: 1334; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

You may want to get your facts correct. No Huawei smartphone has ever had Adups software on it, in China or elsewhere. Huawei has stated many times they have never done any business with the company behind Adups. ZTE uses Adups in China to deliver software updates but the software hasn't been used outside of the country. That just leaves Blu which is a US company and they are the only ones to use Adups outside of China.

7. ShadowHammer

Posts: 191; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

That's interesting. If true, will PhoneArena redact or edit their article to show the error? I appreciate when journalists correct misinformation.

4. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Klinton get rekted...

5. Darckent

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 17, 2016

Will klinton..... You've made yourself look stupid haven't ya!!!

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