BLU accuses Shanghai Adups of request violation, migrating updates to Google’s systems

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BLU claims that the Chinese company it had contracted with for firmware updates to its phones disregarded a request to not mine its users’ data.

The Miami-based smartphone seller told PCMag that Shanghai Adups went rogue by installing software that sent full content data from texts, call histories and contact lists to servers in China.

“We have an email history with Adups saying we did not want that functionality on our devices, and they violated our request,” said BLU CEO Sammy Ohev-Zion.

The phonemaker has updated the software on phones with Adups’s firmware on them to block data from being sent to the overseas servers. Security firm Kryptowire has agreed to keep tabs on the software on BLU’s phones for a year.

New Android phones will have Google over-the-air firmware solution installed — this may also include new shipments of the R1 HD, one of the original phones thumbed for the Chinese firmware. The company will also update its privacy policy to include information about what data its firmware will receive.

“[BLU will] not install third-party applications where we don’t have the source code and don’t understand the behavior,” Ohev-Zion said. “Today, no BLU phone has this problem.”

The company has also gone to the lengths of joining a “fastpass” program in association with MediaTek to get its phones loaded with a clean Android UI and updated more frequently. Expect some of those phones out in January.

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