As previously reported Jay-Z and Samsung partnered to have his latest project “Magna Carta Holy Grail” available to Galaxy S3 & S4 smartphone owners via an exclusive app three days before it’s official release. But now, according to a privacy group, too much information was required in order to retrieve the giveaway.
The complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), states that the mobile app “collects massive amounts of personal information from users, including location data and data pulled from other accounts and other apps on the users phones.” Additionally, EPIC’s summary of the complaint adds, the app “also includes hidden spam techniques that force users to promote the album.”
The users are required to allow the app to access their location as well as view their call logs, email addresses, social media accounts among other things. The app also requires used to access their Facebook or Twitter account to download it and then they have to make social media posts to “unlock” song lyrics. The app actually serves no purpose after the users are able to download the album, so EPIC views the need for so much information as excessive.
“We are aware of the complaint filed with the FTC, and believe it is baseless,” a statement provided by Samsung, who created the app in partnership with Jay-Z, explains. “Samsung takes customer privacy and the protection of personal information very seriously. Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications. Our permissions are in line with other apps’ standard permissions. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process.”