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BLU phones back on Amazon following privacy fears

BLU's tweet announcing their product are back online. (Source: Twitter)
BLU's tweet announcing their product are back online. (Source: Twitter)
After privacy concerns caused Amazon to delist some phones by budget smartphone manufacturer BLU, the products are once again available through the online retailer. Although BLU has denied allegations of any wrongdoing, privacy issues with budget Android phones may remain a concern.

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Phone manufacturer BLU (short for Bold Like Us) is known for selling some of the cheapest Android phones on the market. Despite their low cost, though, BLU phones typically offer a decent experience that belies their low cost. Earlier this week, however, the Florida-based company was accused of selling some devices with spyware baked into the system kernel. Due to these claims, Amazon immediately pulled certain BLU products from their retail site. After what seems like a short vetting process, the accused devices are once again available on Amazon.

On Monday, BLU responded to the allegations that some of their smartphones were infringing on user privacy by sending text, call, and web browsing information to foreign servers. Claiming that the reports were “inaccurate and false,” BLU has since decided to switch from the ADUPS OTA application they were using to Google’s own GOTA, which should make the phones more secure in the future. In the response, however, BLU didn’t deny that information was being stored on servers in other countries, namely China. Rather, the manufacturer asserted that their privacy policy allows for user information to be sent to Chinese servers and that these servers should be considered secure as larger smartphone companies, like Huawei and ZTE, rely on servers in the country almost exclusively. Despite this response, Amazon took several BLU devices off of their retail site. 

In a tweet posted Friday, BLU announced that their phones would be back up on Amazon following what they called a “false alarm.” So for those consumers hoping to score a decent smartphone on the cheap, BLU may once again be a viable option. Keep in mind, though, that BLU does reserve the right to collect and store user data (as most smartphone providers do).

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 08 > BLU phones back on Amazon following privacy fears
Sam Medley, 2017-08- 5 (Update: 2017-08- 5)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.