You know how you’re able to get the Kindle and select other devices on Amazon for a reduced price if you’re willing to put up with “special offers” displayed on your lock and/or home screen? It turns out that there’s a similar deal on those inexpensive Blu phones, except you probably didn’t sign up to have your personal data shipped off to China without your consent.

A security firm called Kryptowire has discovered that some (and possibly but not necessarily all) Blu phones have pre-loaded software on them that collect and send personal data to servers located in China. Blu is based out of Miami, but the software is developed by a Chinese company called Shanghai Adups Technology. They say that they haven’t done anything wrong and that they “take customer privacy and security seriously.”

Take that how you will.

Based on the report, the software preloaded onto these Blu phones can leave you vulnerable to remote takeovers. It also means that your text messages and call logs can be recorded, and other discrete data can be collected and subsequently sent over to China and beyond. There’s even word that the software can collect device identification and location data too.

The way that Amazon is handling the news is (temporarily) suspending all sales of all Blu phones through its website. “Because security and privacy of our customers is of utmost importance,” said Amazon in a prepared statement, “all BLU phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on Amazon.com until the issue is resolved.”


We haven’t heard specifically from other authorized retailers that sell the Blu brand, like Walmart, but it’s not outside the realm of reason they may soon follow suit until there is a further investigation into the matter. For now, it seems like the price you paid for that ultra-cheap Android phone was that the device came with spyware.

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