HTC Privacy Violations Part III

By WhatsappHack on Friday 19 December 2014 23:40 - Comments (3)
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So in my previous blogs on the subject, I had quite some question marks to place with HTC's new Zoe policy:
You're now forced to give up your own material, send it to their servers (not knowing what they do with it it exactly, and no idea how their servers are secured... And even if I did know or they made it clear: I still don't want to upload my data to their cloud!) and THEN you're allowed to download it to your own phone. Where you were previously able to simply locally store your Zoe and not interacting with any HTC server they now force you to waste your bandwidth on uploading the Zoe to their servers, and then you can download it again. (Speaking of useless wastes of resources. I mean, who even makes that up!? Waste ~100MB data on a useless upload to get another ~100MB download.)
HTC can use the material and it will reside on their servers for a long time...

... But there was a way around it.
You could simply downgrade Zoe by removing all updates for the app and then "disable" Zoe so that you wouldn't get constant moaning about an update being ready for you...
Everybody happy, because local store was available once again (as the prime functionality remained in tact without all the HTC bs addons), the app was very simple to use again (no need to jump through multiple hoops to make a vid) and no nonsense about having to give up all your data to HTC before being allowed access to your own content.

Now HTC has taken it a step further. Despite getting a lot of negative feedback all over the web and warnings about the privacy violations that are paired with their new forceful policy, a policy HTC One owners previously never had to deal with nor ever put down the money for (pay for a phone, get forced by HTC to also start paying with your data...), HTC has released a update to their phones that clearly shows they really don't care and are focused on forcing you to do what they want in any way they possibly can: ignoring all complaints and concerns.
What this update does? It blocks the old Zoe app!

What happens now when you use the old Zoe version is that all the functionality is blocked, and you're forced to upgrade to the latest version: or else you cannot make use of the Zoe functionality at all. Basically, HTC is now holding the Zoe functionality hostage:
Either you give up all your data, or you're no longer able to use the phone for the purpose that you actually paid HTC for in the first place.

This isn't only unethical, it's also a major slap in the face of the loyal customers who really preferred using the Zoe functionality on the phones they paid for, including the local Zoe functionality without interference from HTC.
Considering HTC refuses to respond in any matter, ignores the concerns about massive privacy violations and is now actively holding my own data hostage: it's time to take it up a notch myself as well.

Time to start looking at this from a legal point of view and initiate complaints/claims accordingly.
HTC doesn't want to listen? Fine, we'll make them listen.
Too bad really, I do believe HTC makes the best phones available on the market (lonely at the top) and it's a real shame new company policy is being so agressive on stealing your data and forcing you to give up your content + privacy. But this cannot stand.

... To be continued.

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Comments


By Tweakers user TJRef, Saturday 20 December 2014 20:26

I have no time or intent to research your findings, but if it's true, it's a slap in the face to the users.
I think it's a bit worrysome that the 'cloud' is more and more being forced upon any type of device. It feels like we don't have a choice anymore, or that the choice to nót put things in the cloud is very hard to find or somehow automatically deactivated. Things by default now send all of your personal stuff to the cloud. Either through automatic backups or that any service is first routed over the internet before it lands on your device. That's not how tech should work...

Does this also apply to the use of normal camera without zoe?

By Tweakers user Dreeke fixed, Saturday 20 December 2014 20:57

The same applies to the PS-vita from Sony, everything you create with the PS-via belongs to Sony.
I accidentally read the BS you mush agree with if you want to use the PS-vita.

What happens when you use a firewall blocking all network access for this zoe app?
A good firewall is mobiwall for android, you can use it without root access.

By Tweakers user bilgy_no1, Wednesday 24 December 2014 09:59

Hmm it seems that quite possibly my next phone will not be another HTC (after the Desire Z, One S and One M8). Not only because of this issue, but also because of all kinds of restrictiobsI face as a user, only having 9.5gb available of the advertised 16gb, manufacturing issues.

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