LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Love the anime-styled selfies that all your Facebook friends are posting lately? You won’t love all the permissions you’ll need to grant to use that wildly popular Chinese app.
Engineers on Twitter are sounding the alarm about Meitu, saying that all the permissions the app asks for makes it possible for the people behind it to take control of individual phones and access passwords of apps and accounts associated with that phone.
The app widens eye sizes, lightens skin color, and narrows chin widths so that the person pictured in the selfie looks like an Asian anime character. Meitu also gives users the option to “beautify” their faces with filters, makeup and stickers.
Jay Bennett, a 15-year-old from the United Kingdom, dug through the app’s programming in order to call attention to all the data that Meitu gleans from devices on which the app is installed.
Another Twitter user posted screenshots of all the data that Meitu plainly requests.
According to CNET, the data Meitu asks for is being sent to multiple servers in China.
There is not yet any indication that the makers of Meitu are actually doing anything malicious with all the data they are being given access took, according to SlashGear, but the potential for unsavory actions are “too high for us to ignore.”