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Remember Jay-Z’s terrible Android app? Privacy group wants feds to investigate


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Even Hova himself said of the privacy problems: "sux must do better."

You may recall our outrage over Jay-Z’s and Samsung’s new Magna Carta Holy Grail app. It was poorly designed and requested way more digital access than it should have for an app designed simply to provide customers with a new album. As we reported earlier this month:

This app's very existence is vaguely bewildering. The number of permissions it asks for verges on parody. Its (previous) ability to spam up your social feeds is obnoxious. Its presentation is perfunctory at best. It does nothing to protect the songs from downloading and sharing—of course, this would have happened with Samsung's cooperation or not, but if the point was "exclusivity," then somebody missed a memo somewhere.

Even Jay-Z, whose real name is Sean Carter, said the fact the app requires access to so much private data was disappointing. As he wrote on Twitter: “sux must do better.” Now, a privacy advocacy group wants the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate.

“Samsung failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the App, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the Magna Carta App, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimization procedures,” the Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a complaint (PDF) filed on Friday, July 12, 2013 and announced on Sunday, July 14 2013.

Still, the Los Angeles Times wrote—citing Jeremiah Reynolds, an intellectual property lawyer based in Southern California—that the FTC probably won’t launch legal action. There simply isn't any umbrella federal privacy law.

“People may believe it’s intrusive, but as long is it’s correctly described and as long as the people give consent, I don’t see what the issue is,” he told the paper.

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