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VidMate Releases Results of Internal Investigations on Privacy and Security Concerns
[June 25, 2019]

VidMate Releases Results of Internal Investigations on Privacy and Security Concerns


GUANGZHOU, China, June 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- It has come to VidMate's attention that a recent report alleges VidMate app of draining users' batteries and bandwidth, exposing data, and making unauthorized charges. In addition, some users have experienced system level "Danger" alerts appearing and the automatic removal of the VidMate app during installation and upgrades of the app.

VidMate team cares about users' needs, privacy and data security. To protect users' interests, VidMate immediately cut off relevant third-party SDK service upon receipt of above complaints. As SDK is a kind of technology hard to control by apps, VidMate decided to remove all the commercial SDK in the latest 4.1288 or above versions.

At the same time, VidMate started comprehensive investigations. Given that VidMate prohibits collaborating partners from conducting any fraudulent activities in all of its collaboration contracts, VidMate is seeking complete security detections by security companies in order to locate and fix all the potential security issues.

In the past two weeks, VidMate have reviewed all the codes and have scanned all the SDKs. Below is the summarize result of the internal investigations:

It is alleged that VidMate subjects its users to a range of suspicious activities that could cost them money, drain their phone batteries, and collecting suspicious levels of personal data.  

VidMate team has found no evidence of unauthorized charges; however, VidMate believes that a third-party SDK service provider is the culprit of false advertising activities that cause system-level "Danger" alerts and users of VidMate unable to install and upgrade VidMate. After removal of the third party's code, the above-mentioned phenomenon no longer happens. VidMate has thoroughly removed the third party's codes from VidMate app and sent a formal letter on this regard, demanding compensation. VidMate is open to provide more information for this SDK.

VidMate apologizes for the length of time it took to investigate and track down the above information, but VidMate wanted to make sure to obtain the accurate and comprehensive information.

After receiving a report, VidMate has dealt with the problem in the following flow:

  1. Cut down the issued service at once;
  2. Check whether the issue can be reappeared in case of the fake report;
  3. Contact with the third party partner for the explanation in case of the incorrect judgment;
  4. Review and locate the issue, remove the harmful codes;
  5. Optimize and release a new version.

VidMate has been taking measures to protect and avoid such situation, including, without limitation:

  • Use the third-party security software that is widely adopted in industry, such as Virustotal, to scan our product;
  • Analyze the general authorizations commonly adopted in SDKs;
  • 24-hours' supervision, dealing with and early warning to users' feedback and complaints.

Following the incident, VidMate immediately released updates to fix the issue. All the harmful codes have been removed in VidMate 4.1288 and later versions. All users should upgrade as soon as possible. VidMate sincerely requests Medias and users to help us timely monitor and feedback any of the foregoing situation. 

It is alleged that VidMate obtains certain unnecessary privacy authorizations without notifying the users.

The facts with regard to the alleged privacy authorizations are as follows:  





Authorization

Truth

android.permission.

READ_LOGS

Invalid after Android 4.1; and having been removed from VidMate Version 4.1288.

android.permission.

WRITE_SETTINGS

The purpose of this Authorization is to obtain the screen brightness status;

Invalid after Android 6.0; and having been removed from VidMate Version 4.1288

android.permission.

SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW

The purpose of this Authorization is to display the download button on the browser desktop.

android.permission.

REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES

Because VidMate is unable to be accessed on Google Play, APK authorization is necessary for its installation.

android.permission.

DOWNLOAD_WITHOUT_NOTIFICATION

The collaboration had been stopped in 2018; and having been removed from VidMate Version 4.1288.


It is alleged that, 128 million "suspicious" transactions by the VidMate app are blocked, that could have cost users in Egypt, Brazil, Myanmar, and elsewhere more than $150 million in unwanted, unauthorized mobile subscriptions, according to the company.

VidMate just started doing business in the above listed areas with a small number of users. It does not appear possible to have such a high number of transactions coming out of VidMate app alone.

It is alleged that VidMate's unauthorized activities ate up large amount of users' mobile data and battery power.

This is incorrect and without any evidence. Use of VidMate will neither result in unreasonable consummation of traffic nor the device batteries, comparing to the performance of the other similar mobile apps in the market. Users can check the info easily by themselves on their mobile phone (Settings-battery; Settings-Apps), or can refer to the test results from our full-scale tests with the video records provided as follows:
https://www.vidmateapp.com/blog/VidMate-Battery-and-Traffic-Usage-Test

It is alleged that "VidMate was developed and owned by UCWeb, a subsidiary of Alibaba, prior to being sold off last year".

VidMate is totally independent of Alibaba or UCWeb. Only 1 individual investor is the previous UCWeb CTO, some of the management and employees used to work in UCWeb as a normal talents flow.

Here is the shareholders information :

1. Li Li (51%): Li Li currently serves as CEO of Guangzhou Nemo Technology Ltd. Before joining startup companies in 2016, Li Li served more than 6 years in UCWeb as director of the Overseas Marketing Department.

2. Chi Yi (30%): Chi Yi has 12-years' experience of investment in the area of technology & internet, and now serves in Heyue Capital.

3. Liang Jie (19%): Liang Jie has 8-years' experience as CTO in UCWeb until 2017, an internet technology company. Now Mr. Liang Jie engages himself in investments mainly in the area of technology startup projects.

Nemo Technology Limited Company (the "Company") is a mobile internet company that provides tools & contents services to offshore internet users. It has captured millions of users and gained significant brand recognition in regions such as India, Southeast Asia, and Middle East.

The Company's headquarter is in Guangzhou, with its core members from the top-tier Chinese internet companies. The Company has about 70 employees, 80% of whom are in the R&D department. The team possesses top-tier capacity in the areas of the product, R&D, and the localized business operation.

For years, VidMate has won the trust and loyalty of a large number of users. It is top priority of VidMate's to protect its reputation among industry partners and the trust of users.

For further questions or concerns, please contact business@nemo-inc.com.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vidmate-releases-results-of-internal-investigations-on-privacy-and-security-concerns-300874296.html

SOURCE VidMate


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