Alcatel is known for its relatively decent budget phones. In fact, some of them are arguably good choices in the budget market. However, it always seems like some of these “budget” companies have some sort of security scandal. Let us not forget Blu’s recent incident.
Now it’s Alcatel’s turn. Its devices have Alcatel’s own gallery app that is updated via the Play Store. It’s a basic app with only file access permissions, which is what you’d expect from a stock gallery app.
In November, the app was updated via the Play Store to an entirely different app called “Candy Gallery -Photo Edit,Video Editor,Pic Collage” by Hi Art Studios. Putting an unknown app onto a user’s phone without their permission is bad enough, but the app also requests tons of permissions including SMS, phone state, device ID, location, account info, WiFi networks, and a whole huge list of others.
Let’s be clear here. There is no excuse for this kind of bait and switch, and a strange app that has access to all of these permissions and information doesn’t belong on a smartphone without a user’s express permission. Owners of Alcatel agree, as shown by the flood of one star reviews on the app.
If you own an Alcatel device and have been affected, head to app settings and disable this app and use Google Photos in the meantime. And in the future, be wary of Alcatel. This has been the case for over two months and the company has not made any moves to fix it.