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Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail Android app sparks privacy concerns

08/07/2013 15:57

App offered early access to rapper's new album for up to 1m fans but wanted more data than some were comfortable with.
Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail is one of the most anticipated album releases of 2013, so the announcement that up to a million fans would get a free copy several days before its official release courtesy of a deal with Samsung was big news.
The music was to be delivered through an Android app for several of Samsung's smartphones, but as the album was released, some fans balked at the amount of personal data the app was trying to access.
The app – which has since been removed from the Google Play store by Samsung – was described by the technology site Ars Technica as "positively PRISM-like in its requests for your information", with fans prompted to agree to a number of app permissions before installing it.
Some of those permissions were necessary: for example, to store the downloaded files on fans' handsets.
Others, such as its request to access the device's location and information about other apps running on the phone, and to read the phone's status and identify when it's being used for voice calls, were more questionable.
In the run-up to the music's release, fans were also able to browse lyric sheets for the tracks – but only if they posted a tweet or Facebook status update promoting the fact that they had unlocked each lyric.
Ars Technica wasn't the only site to suggest that Jay-Z's app went too far, given recent news stories involving personal data and privacy.

Source: https://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2013/jul/08/jay-z-android-app-privacy