“It appears to be harvesting information on what other apps users have, location data, the unique number of your SIM card and smartphone (its IMEI number), call information, which mobile operator you’re with and details of your wifi connections. The data collected on iPhones is rather more limited as Apple has stricter rules on what can be collected.”
It reminds me of how I rooted my Wiko Android phone: with KingRoot.
It’s a bloody effective rooting app (nothing else could root my Wiko–a French-Chinese brand), with the nicest interface, no ads, that also proposes to “optimize” your phone through various ways. Best thing on earth!
I’ve been using it for one year; until my brothers told me this app was Chinese, and had a strange behaviour: it creates 2 levels of super users, kingsu (used by the app, super-administrator) and su (used by any rooted app, with a little less privileges than kingsu). After a little investigation, I figured that the app was sending tens of Mb of data per month, god knows where. Obviously, I couldn’t restrict its network access, because xPrivacy (a privacy app) didn’t have enough rights to restrain kingsu user. And kingsu had every possible priviliege, hence it could get any available information from my phone…
Some little geeks have built hacks to allow deletion of this app in favour of “good” rooting apps like supersu. But it wasn’t so easy to achieve.
So, yes indeed, better beware before installing privileged Chinese applications!
I also find it interesting that it is often Chinese apps that are considered more threatening. Often pointing out how data is exposed to Chinese or Russian actors makes people perceive it as more of a threat than actors from their own country, or a “friendly” foreign country.
Maybe they understand that China or Russia don’t have anything to do with our data except mean projects. Also, these Chinese apps are particularly aggressive, they really take everything they can find on our phones.
Though, I more often hear my friends saying that “I prefer corporations peaking on my data rather than having States do so–corporations can’t send me to jail”. Which is quite puzzling. It’s an evidence to me that States are sometimes legitimate doing surveillance (as long as it’s targeted, and for good reasons), contrarily to Google, that has no excuse for siphoning our data through Play Services.
Do you have a nice counter-argument for my next privacy debate on that point, please? Then I’ll leave you be, I should stop procrastinating myself