Is China’s viral Pitu beauty app safe or a threat to privacy?


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MANILA, Philippines – If you’ve been online and using social media these past days, you might have noticed a lot of your friends are posting awesome photos that made them look like models who hail from countries like China or South Korea.
Is China’s viral Pitu beauty app safe or a threat to privacy?

It’s cute and it’s fun! And you might have even downloaded Pitu, China's beauty app, and used it to post cool photos that your friends are sure to love.

Is China’s viral Pitu beauty app safe or a threat to privacy?
Photo credit: ScoutMag

But if you still haven’t downloaded the app, stop! Don’t do it just yet! Maybe you’d like to read on first because tech experts have raised warning bells against the app. It might be cute and fun but tech experts believe you are getting much more than what you are asking for; in short, the app is said to pose a security threat to the user.


Aside from collecting photos of your face (which you willingly allowed them to do so you can post those cute filtered photos, of course), the app actually requires its users to allow permission on various data that are not even remotely connected to photography.

Is China’s viral Pitu beauty app safe or a threat to privacy?
Photo credit: Facebook / PHInternet

While you might overlook the ‘record audio’ part, you will surely be shocked to learn that the app can actually access the user’s personal information and private data.

Analytics from Tencent HABO shows that the app has several dangerous behaviors, among these are the ability to “read database like contact or SMS”, “get info like IMEI, phone number or OS version”, “query for a remote server”, and even “execute system command”! In depth analytics also showed that the app allows the phone to “change wifi state”, “mount and unmounts file systems”, and “kill background processes.”

Is China’s viral Pitu beauty app safe or a threat to privacy?

But what’s really alarming is that it has the “ability to see through other apps”!

All these have no relation whatsoever to photography and are very dangerous not just to your phone but also to you!

Is China’s viral Pitu beauty app safe or a threat to privacy?

With the app able to access private data and many other dangerous behaviors, who knows that it can do with your data, your voice recordings, and your photos?


Remember that many netizens these days use social media and also use their phones through apps for online banking, email, social media, etc. – and by using Pitu, you’re handing over a lot of your private data to a Chinese app developer…

“When you install Pitu, you allowed the Chinese guys behind it to know your exact location, access your pictures, access your call logs, read your messages, record phone conversation and listen to it, know everything about your device, know what apps you have, send SMS and subscribe to paid services and possibly take control over your phone,” warned tech expert Art Samaniego Jr.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express


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