Rapper Jay-Z’s tie-up with Samsung for the release of his Magna Carta Holy Grail album has been, to say the least, quite controversial. Earlier in the week, watchdog group EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) requested the Federal Trade Commission launch an investigation on the Samsung-exclusive application that allegedly violates consumer privacy.
The app, which would be used to download Jay-Z’s new album, requires users to grant Samsung permission to access personal information, such as their age, their Facebook and Twitter details, and even the users’ location and networks, among others. Aside from allowing Samsung to access this information, users are also asked to allow the app to post social media updates, including status updates should a user want to check a song’s lyrics. According to EPIC, Samsung had “failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the Magna Carta App, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality and failed to implement reasonable data minimization procedures.”
In response to EPIC’s claims, Samsung has done its part to clear the air and clarify that it has no plans to sell any information gathered from consumers, nor does it intend to use the data for unauthorized or malicious purposes. In a statement, Samsung said that the information collated through the Jay-Z app was “purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications.” The statement concluded with Samsung asserting that it is not in any way “inappropriately using or selling any information” that it may have collected.