Two weeks ago, in the buildup to Jay-Z's release of Magna Carta Holy Grail, we asked: How much is too much information? The rapper paired with Samsung to release 1 million copies of the album through an exclusive app. The only catch was users had to grant Samsung access to storage, system tools, network communications, phone calls, and much more information.
But it seems the advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, aka EPIC, has a problem with Samsung's data mining practices. They are asking the Federal Trade Commission 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 group said in the complaint.
Samsung believes the complaint with the FTC is unwarranted and that the Magna Carta app's permissions are no different from any other apps on the market, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Samsung responded to the complaint in a statement: "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. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process."
And Jeremiah Reynolds, an intellectual property lawyer, agrees with the electronics company.
“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 said.
To paraphrase Hov: Samsung's got 99 problems and a FTC investigation could be one.