Cheetah Mobile’s CM browser, CooTek’s TouchPal keyboard, and Mango TV were all singled out for weak protection of user privacy in recently released survey results by Shanghai’s Consumer Council.

On Wednesday afternoon, the council pointed out that all three phone apps require text-related permissions that are apparently unrelated to their functions. The CM browser also requests call-related permission and suffers from a low-level Android application program interface (API), which could compromise data privacy. The TouchPal keyboard additionally requests information related to user location.

The deputy-secretary general of the council told The Paper that with text-related permissions, an app might be able to send messages from users’ phones without their knowledge. The report also states that the CM Browser was able to listen in on outgoing calls. However, a company representative told Netease that the latter allegation was misleading.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.