The Federal Trade Commission has now settled with HTC America over charges that it customized the software on its Android and Windows phones allowing third-party apps to install software that could:
- Steal personal data;
- Secretly send text messages (including to numbers that charge for delivery); or
- Enable the phone's microphone to record the user's phone calls
Well, that's certainly nothing we bargained for when buying a phone. This is the first effort by the FTC to police a smartphone manufacturer.
HTC agreed to settle the civil suit by issuing software patches to close the security holes and by creating a security program which will be monitored by an independent party for the next 20 years.
Bully to the FTC for taking this action, which may wake up other smartphone manufacturers who are prone to be lax about security.
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