A proposed class action claims Temu has secretly collected “massive” amounts of users’ private data by tracking their internet activity through its in-app browser.
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According to the filing, Temu’s “clandestine tracking activities” are a violation of federal wiretap laws and unlawfully intrude upon users’ privacy. At the expense of these consumers, Temu has reaped substantial profits from its alleged “wiretapping” practice, as the data the company collects helps it develop more targeted marketing and advertising strategies, the case says.
The complaint further claims the company behind Temu, defendant Whaleco, Inc., has cut corners on cybersecurity measures in an effort to save money, leaving consumers’ private data vulnerable to unauthorized access. Per the filing, the defendant’s data security failures have enabled hackers to steal users’ information, placing them at a “serious and ongoing” risk of identity theft and financial fraud.
In fact, the suit relays, the Better Business Bureau has received an influx of complaints from consumers who say they experienced fraudulent bank account withdrawals or unauthorized credit card purchases soon after they began making purchases on Temu.
The complaint goes on to say that the shopping app contains malicious software, or malware, that is able to avoid detection by a user’s phone and send files from their device to its own servers “with little or no encryption.”
Notably, the suit says, Temu’s “heritage of malware” traces back to a separate shopping app its parent company owns, Pinduoduo. In March 2023, Google pulled Pinduoduo from its app store after finding that the Chinese-owned app contained malware that could be used to spy on users and competitors, the filing says. A majority of the engineers who developed this software were then transferred to work for Temu, the filing claims.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States who has registered an account with Temu since July 2022.
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