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It seems like cheap smartphones still come at a high price.

Amazon have suspended budget smartphone manufacturer, BLU, from selling devices on the Amazon website. This is not the first time that BLU has been in trouble over spyware, however. Back in November of 2016, researchers at Kryptowire found an application from Shanghai Adups Technology which collected user data and sent it to servers located in China. Back then, BLU admitted that there was an issue and worked with the company to remove the intrusive feature.

However, Kryptowire once again called BLU out at last week's Black Hat conference, stating that the spyware is still present with at least three models of the BLU smartphones shipping with it. As a result, Amazon have suspended the sale of BLU smartphones on their website. The company said in a statement, "Because security and privacy of our customers is of the utmost importance, all BLU phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on Amazon.com until the issue is resolved."

However, it will be interesting to see whether the issue will actually be resolved, since BLU are denying any wrong doing. In a press release, the company referred to the allegations as "inaccurate and false "

"Using ADUPS OTA is not an issue here. ADUPS is a well-known application used by several device manufacturers around the world," the company said. "The issue is exactly what kind of data is actually being collected by this ADUPS application, and whether it presents a security or privacy risk."

"The data that is currently being collected is standard for OTA functionally and basic informational reporting," the post continued. "This is in line with every other smartphone device manufacturer in the world. There is nothing out of the ordinary that is being collected, and certainly does not affect any user's privacy or security."

"Regarding that some information may be stored in China servers, their privacy policy clearly states that some of the data collected can be stored in servers outside the US, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a server in China."

"BLU has several policies in place which takes customer privacy and security very seriously, and confirms that there has been no breach or issue of any kind with any of its devices."

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Sebastian Marcinkiewicz

Journalist and technology enthusiast specialising in smartphones and online security.

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