According to BBC, free weather app Weather Forecast — World Weather Accurate Radar has been collecting an inordinate amount of information. The developer behind the app? TCL, the company that manufactures Alcatel and BlackBerry smartphones.
Security and mobile commerce firm Upstream Systems found that the app transmits information to servers in China. Collected information includes email addresses, IMEI numbers, and your location.
Exacerbating matters is the finding that Weather Forecast attempted to subscribe users to pornography and virtual reality services. Affected users include Alcatel smartphone owners in Brazil, Malaysia, and Nigeria.
Brazil, in particular, received over 2.5 million subscription attempts between July and August 2018.
To TCL’s credit, Weather Forecast no longer tries to subscribe users to third-party services. However, Upstream Systems found that the app still collects the aforementioned information.
TCL declined to comment for this article.
This isn’t the first time TCL released a sketchy app that collected a weird amount of information. In January 2018, folks noticed that a third-party app on the Play Store replaced the default gallery app on their Alcatel smartphones. Called Candy Gallery, the app asked for a laundry list of permissions when first opened. The app’s cryptographic key matched that of Alcatel’s old gallery app. That could mean Alcatel either sold the app itself or the app listing.