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Samsung denies collecting Galaxy owners’ data

Samsung Electronics on Monday denied privacy invasion claims after local media reported mobile applications uploaded on the Galaxy S were capable of collecting personal data.

“Samsung Electronics doesn’t gather or use our smartphone users’ personal data. We also confirm that all mobile apps provided by Samsung aren’t equipped with the function or code that’s capable of data collection,” the company said in a statement.

“The fact that it showed the apps could sneak into our customers’ information was only a wrongfully marked error and the data-collection functions don’t actually operate in reality.”
Galaxy S. (Bloomberg)
Galaxy S. (Bloomberg)

According to a study jointly conducted by a local daily and Korea University, a number of apps including the self-reflection “mirror” app, data network setting and program monitoring apps on the Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note were capable of collecting a wide range of private information. They included a list of contacts, location information, text messages and recorded files of Galaxy owners.

The center of controversy is that the problematic apps are basic applications for the mobile devices, meaning smartphone owners cannot delete them.

In a related move, a government official at the Korea Communications Commission said its affiliate Korea Internet and Security Agency is looking into whether personal information of smartphone users was collected through the Galaxy S.

The move comes as breaches of privacy, including data collection, have been gaining attention globally with the popularity of smart devices. Most recently, mobile device software company Carrier IQ has been involved in three lawsuits in the U.S. for alleged privacy law violations.

Carrier IQ is accused of installing spyware on mobile phones and using that hidden software to siphon off private consumer data without consumer consent.

Foreign media further reported that lawsuits were filed not only against Carrier IQ, but also Samsung and HTC in Chicago and St. Louis on Sunday for alleged violation of the Federal Wiretap Act.

By Cho Ji-hyun (
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Korea Herald daum