Samsung and electronics firm Oppo are accused of pre-installing dozens of apps without telling consumers.
In troubling news for electronics giant Samsung, as well as Chinese electronics manufacturer Oppo, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protect Commission under the Chinese government is coming after them on allegations of massive amounts of “bloatware” on the phones they distribute.
The commission is looking into claims that these companies have pre-installed dozens of apps that people haven’t asked for on their phones without informing consumers of their existence. They made these findings after examining 20 smartphones, and determining that the Samsung SN-N9008S had 47 pre-installed apps and the Oppo X9007 had a stunning 71 bloatware programs, according to a Shanghai Daily report.
The apps ranged from electronic dictionaries to shopping programs to games, just to name a few example, the commission alleged. They also claim that Samsung and Oppo didn’t let buyers know that these apps were present, exposing their information in ways that consumers weren’t aware of and violating consumer rights, the allegations say.
The intent of the commission’s action through litigation is to end this practice of pre-installing bloatware and not informing customers, said Tao Ailian, the secretary general of the commission. While it would not be illegal to pre-install apps, the lawsuit seeks to force Samsung and Oppo to clearly inform customers on their packaging that there is pre-installed software and exactly what that software is, as well as instructions on how to remove it.
The concerns about bloatware is not just that they are irritating to have and clutter up the phone, but also that if consumers aren’t aware they’re there and aren’t able to remove them, they could be harvesting data to sell to third parties, creating tremendous privacy concerns for consumers.