Why Reddit Is Losing Ground Due to Samsung’s New Privacy Policy

Samsung recently updated the privacy policy for all users with a Samsung account , effective October 1st. One Redditor read the policy, did n’t like what they saw, and shared it with r/android , highlighting what he considers to be the document’s worst policy. points. The topic exploded and Android users denounced Samsung’s new policy galore. But why is everyone so angry, and should I be worried about it? Let’s explore.

Samsung’s privacy policy is a bit creepy

From the outset, the new policy does not look good. In fact, it looks downright invasive. There are standard data giveaways that we have come to expect: when you create a Samsung account, you must provide personal information such as your name, age, address, email address, gender, etc. As per course .

However, Samsung also notes that it will collect data such as credit card information, usernames and passwords for third-party services, photos, contacts, text logs, recordings of your voice created during voice commands, and location data. including accurate location data. like nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers. It might surprise you that a company like Samsung can store transcripts of your chats, contacts, and voice recordings, but there’s a precedent: Apple was in a quandary when third-party contractors showed they could listen to audio recordings from Siri Requests that included all sorts of personal conversations and actions.

Samsung also tracks your general activity through the use of cookies, pixels, web beacons and other means. The company claims that this tracking is done for a variety of reasons, including to remember your information so you don’t have to re-enter it in the future and to better know how you use their services. To achieve these goals, it collects almost everything there is to know about your device, including your IP address, device model, device settings, websites you visit and apps you download, among many others. The policy reminds you to change your privacy settings if you don’t like this default tracking (as if no one else would).

The company says it has many uses for this information, including delivering advertisements, communicating with customers, improving their services, improving their business, detecting and preventing fraud and criminal activity, and complying with “applicable legal requirements.” In addition, they reserve the right to share your information with “subsidiaries and affiliates”, “business partners and third parties”, as well as law enforcement and other authorities. In short, depending on the circumstances, your Samsung data may end up in the hands of many third parties.

But that’s not all. The most interesting rules appear in the Notice to California Residents section. While most of the information is the same when broken down differently, there is one additional note about the data Samsung collects: biometric information. The company doesn’t specify, but this entry implies that Samsung receives data from face and fingerprint scans, whereas traditionally this information is stored on the device. Apple, for example, does not have access to scans of your face on your iPhone . Obviously, this is potentially relevant.

In addition, the Residents of California section also discusses what data Samsung sells to third parties. Samsung states that up to 12 months before this new policy went into effect, it may have sold your data, including device identifiers (cookies, pixel tags, etc.), purchase history or trends, and network activity, including but not limited to how you interact with websites. .

It’s really nothing new from Samsung

So far, this seems like complete nonsense. The problem is that it’s not exactly new. Most of the wording in the October 1 update of the privacy policy is consistent with previous versions. A commenter in the thread referred to the January 1, 2021 version of the policy , which features all of the most important policies, including biometric data collection. Truth be told, this is Samsung’s status quo.

It doesn’t change how creepy some of the language in politics is. If you’re looking at your Galaxy Z Flip with newfound skepticism, I don’t blame you. Unfortunately, if you delve into the privacy policies for most of your other technologies, you’ll be just as concerned. Samsung is hardly the only one in the business of collecting, sharing and selling your data.

One Redditor does note the redundancy of privacy breaches here. Of course, Google may have similar policies, but since Samsung runs on Android, you’re dealing with two meddling companies instead of one:

Given their hardware prices, unremovable malware that is generally inferior to Google’s software, and campaigns against the right to repair (and reflection in their hardware), I don’t see any reason to buy their phones over Google’s. I will only have one company compulsively infiltrating my personal device at a time, thank you.

Lock down privacy settings

Counterpoint: Samsung makes some great devices, and it’s arguably the only company developing something “revolutionary” these days. You can still buy their technology with privacy in mind. Dive into your device’s privacy settings and make the most of it. Do not agree to any data sharing, disable all available tracking tools, and block your account as much as possible. Samsung most likely won’t let you turn your Galaxy into a data security beacon, but you can do more than the default settings.

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