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US Lawsuit Says Temu Shopping App Has ‘Hidden Spyware’ – AT

A lawsuit lodged in Arkansas claims the Chinese shopping app Temu is “dangerous malware” that secretly gives itself “unrestricted access” to all data on a user’s phone

E-commerce platform Temu says it has faced 'escalating attacks' from Shein.
E-commerce firm Temu faces a lawsuit in Arkansas amid claims that it is risky malware. It could also face a law that restricts its ability to mail goods to the US, if Congress changes the de minimis trade rule (Reuters photo).


A lawsuit lodged in Arkansas by local attorney general Tim Griffin alleges that Temu – the popular Chinese shopping app – is “dangerous malware” that secretly gives itself “unrestricted access” to all data on a user’s phone, according to a report by Ars Technica, adding that Temu’s owners PDD Holdings are legally obligated to share that data with the Chinese government under “laws that mandate secret cooperation with China’s intelligence apparatus.”

Griffin’s lawsuit notes that both Apple and Google suspended the Temu app in 2023 for its ‘nefarious activities’ and cited “an extensive forensic investigation into Temu by Grizzly Research” last September”, which, the report said, alleged that PDD Holdings is a “fraudulent company” and that “Temu is cleverly hidden spyware that poses an urgent security threat to US national interests.”

The Arkansas attorney general claims that Temu “baits users with misleading promises of discounted, quality goods” to get access to as much user data as possible, while hundreds of complaints show that “Temu’s goods are actually low-quality”, and that the company’s “end goal isn’t to be the world’s biggest shopping platform but to steal data” and sell it, because the group’s business model is unsustainable and “doomed for failure.”

Griffin has sought an injunctions to stop Temu for ‘spying on users’ and is seeking a jury trial to agree that Temu’s alleged practices violate the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which could see it fined $10,000 per violation, the report said. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Temu said the company denied the allegations and would defend itself.

Read the full report: Ars Technica.



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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