One of the trending app in 2017 is an anime face manipulation photo app by Meitu. You might’ve seen a well known figure being portrayed as an cute, adorable anime character. Take “kawaii-trump” below for an example.
The free photo-editing app, although has been around in China since 2008, only recently caught on with users and viral on social medias thanks to people doing anime makeovers to characters such as Donal Trump and Harry Potter’s Severus Snape.
The app is available for both iOS and Android, allows you you to take selfies or upload pictures from your camera roll. It then apply filters which portrayed you or others in the image as an adorable anime character.
If you’re one of the users using Meitu, I would now recommend you to UNINSTALL the app due to security concern. Apparently, rather than seeking permissions to access the phone’s camera and camera roll, the app went further seeking a whole lot more permission before it can be installed and due to this, an investigation has been made. As it turned out this app was found to be sending IMEI numbers to several China-based digital locations.
— Jay Bennett [ZOUS] (@rekrom12) January 19, 2017
Meitu in reply says it will only use customers’ data for identity protection, service upgrades, criminal investigations and customer feedback and the IMSI number that is sent to Meitu in the Android version of the app could be used to track users across the web, as they use other apps and browsers.
“I’d like to assure you that we work closely with Apple and Google on every product release and we follow privacy policies rigorously. I tend to think our engineers are smart enough and don’t have to use stolen codes.” – Meitu spokerperson
To users, please keep vigilant when installing app on your phone. Your device house a lot of sensitive data, be wary for any app requesting irrelevant permissions on your phone. For you photo app addict out there, it is time to find another safe photo app alternative.