Think twice before downloading this popular selfie app

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A new selfie app seems to have swept the globe in the last few days but it seems that users should exercise caution when they are using it.

Meitu, is free to download on both Android and iOS devices. Like many similar apps, it offers users the chance to apply different filters and enhancements and then the ability to share the image with your friends and contacts.

However, security researchers have revealed that the app is not as secure or as innocent as it first might appear.

In fact, large amounts of your account information are sent to external IP addresses in China. The reason given is that this is for analytics purposes although this seems a little hard to believe.

The information that is divulged includes data relating to your device such as, which Android version is running, as well as the IMEI and MAC address, which can be used to track smartphones
Users have also noticed that several permissions are requested, 23 in fact – far more than normal.

However, Meitu have been quick to defend their actions. In an official statement, the company says that they take users’ personal data “very seriously” and that user data is not sold to anyone else.

In the statement, the company said that, “Meitu’s sole purpose for collecting the data is to optimise app performance, its effects and features and to better understand our consumer engagement with in-app advertisements.”

Meitu claim that the need for this extensive data is simply because their headquarters are in China and many services are blocked so in order to get around this they use third-party and in-house data tracking.

Treating this app with caution certainly seems advisable.

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