While the Meitu photo filter app became hugely popular all of a sudden, the news that it was sending your phone’s info to servers in China also made it pretty controversial as well. A lot of articles appeared, urging people to uninstall the app since it may be violating your privacy with all its required app permissions. But the developer has now issued an official statement, explaining the reason behind these permissions and how they’re using the data.
When you install the Meitu photo filter app, aside from the fact that you can add really interesting and unique filters to your selfies, it requires you to give it access to a lot of information like MAC addresses, IMEI, SIM ICCID, root status. Even worse, this data was being sent to unknown servers in China, giving rise to concerns as to what is being done with all this data. But the company said in a statement that these permissions they were asking for were just the same as the other popular photo editing apps and they’re within the guidelines.
The more detailed explanation says that since their headquarters are in China, a lot of the services by app stores are blocked. So they have had to find workarounds, including a combination of third-party and in-house data tracking systems. They also need to check if the handset is jailbroken since these devices may be able to manipulate and modify the source code.
They also clarified that all the user data are only sent to Meitu and that the two other domain names indicated in the articles going around are both owned by Meitu. The company also said that they have several steps to ensure that the user data is safe, like using https, multi-layer encryption, advanced firewalls, IPS protection, etc. They also have an in-house security team to make sure that no information falls into the wrong hands (or eyes).