Jay-Z made headlines with his deal to provide one million free digital copies of his Magna Carta Holy Grail album to Samsung smartphone users via app three days before the album’s official release date.
The move was lauded as an innovative business and distribution scheme, and earned Hov a platinum plaque.
Still, many users, such as Killer Mike, were dissuaded from using the app because it asked for permission to users’ storage, system tools, location, network communities, phone calls and more. Citing similar complains, the Electronic Privacy Information Centre claims the app collects “massive amounts of personal information from users, including location data,” reports BBC. The United States civil liberties group even filed a complaint with the FTC to suspend distribution of the app, which Epic says “also includes hidden spam techniques” that make app users promote MCHG to their friends.
Now, Samsung has replied to the complaints in a statement:
“We are aware of the complaint filed with the FTC and believe it is baseless,” stated the electronics giant.
“Samsung takes customer privacy and the protection of personal information very seriously,” it added.
Samsung claimed that the scope of the app’s use of any information gathered has been overblown. “Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications.”
“Our permissions are in line with other apps’ standard permissions. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process,” concluded the statement.
Despite any controversy, Magna Carta Holy Grail moved over 500,000 units in its first week, not including the the units from the app.