You have probably been going through your Twitter feed recently and have come across some random, heavily edited, selfies. The application which provides this comes from China and is named Meitu, and makes you look like an Anime character.
Just to let you guys know that photo app that makes you look an anime is sending you IMIE to several servers in China. https://t.co/dQdroq5qhA
— FourOctets (@FourOctets) January 19, 2017
However it seems that the application may be taking more information from you than just your new selfies. Researchers have discovered that the permissions of the application actually share your IMEI, phone numbers, and GPS coordinates with servers which are housed in China.
Meitu is available for both iOS and Android users, however, it seems that the Android version reveals even more information about you and your device. The application shares your calendar, contacts, SMS messages, and external storage contents.
After reports concerning the security of Meitu were revealed, the company reached out to CNET in an attempt to clear doubts. Meitu shared that the reason why the code even exists is due to the tracking services used by Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store are blocked in China.
So in order to track their users, Meitu relies on “a combination of third-party and in-house data tracking systems to make sure that the user data tracked is consistent”. Of course, this doesn’t make anyone feel any safer, but it’s likely that unless something bigger happens, we’ll continue to see those selfies on our Twitter timelines.