IF SOMETHING seems too good to be true, it is. That’s as true now in the Internet Age as it’s ever been.
A shopping site called Temu has become one of the most popular apps on Android and iOS devices over the past year, with more than 100 million downloads as of this recording. It’s understandable; the prices Temu offers on items from clothing to tech are crazy cheap. So cheap, in fact, that a company called Grizzly Research estimates that Temu loses an average of $30 on every sale.
How can Temu stay in business? Because, as Grizzly Research argues in this report, Temu’s actual business is selling your data collected by an app Grizzly calls “cleverly hidden spyware that poses an urgent security threat to U.S. national interests.”
That may sound like hysteria, but as Grizzly Research documents, the Temu app “has hidden functions that allow for extensive data exfiltration unbeknown to users, potentially giving bad actors full access to almost all data on customers’ mobile devices.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but that includes location data, images, addresses, birthdays, links to social media accounts, and, potentially, private financial information.
The fact that Temu is a Chinese-owned company also raises the possibility that that data it collects could wind up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. To put this in perspective, according to Grizzly Research, the Temu app is far more dangerous than TikTok.
Here’s a brief summary of the Grizzly Research report from Dataconomy.com.
Also: Ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ends; researchers intrigued by resonance of “Devil’s Church” cave in Finland; scientists create tiny “biobots” from human cells; tech startup Prophetic creates headband to induce lucid dreams; and deer-eating “superpigs” invade North Dakota from Canada.
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