Seriously, HTC? Privacy fun.

By WhatsappHack on Thursday 9 October 2014 05:31 - Comments (12)
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In the wake of crap like The Fappening happening, you would expect companies to be more wary about privacy, security and flexibility. If someone wishes to store their generated content on their phone rather than in the cloud, you should be able to do as such. Right? Right.
Whilst I'd like to congratulate HTC on the launch of HTC Zoe 1.0, I'm much less satisfied with the new policy HTC has engaged in.

On your HTC phone, you had the ability to generate HTC Zoe highlight videos.
Quite a cool tool, select a few pictures/zoe recordings, blend them together, pick a theme, add your soundtrack and voila! You have a short video, how fun.
And pretty useful too! It can generate really cool stuff. :)
At least... It was pretty cool whilst you could enjoy it locally.

Apparently, as of the latest app itteration, it is now HTC's policy that you must upload your material to their servers, under their terms & conditions, with absolutely no exceptions. That's a function Jennifer Lawrence would die for... Said no one ever.
I did my best to find an option that allowed you to store it locally, like from the Gallery app, but it seemed completely impossible... And, unfortunately, an HTC representative confirmed it. :(

So whilst I previously was able to generate cool videos, I'm now no longer able to do as such without having to send over my material to HTC's cloud. Forgive me but... In my humble opinion, that's outrageous. I don't want to share my pictures with HTC, and most certainly don't have them on "the cloud".
They're not even pictures that you would find in your random Fappening event (for starters because I'm not a celebrity.), but completely normal pictures; like pictures of taking a stroll on the beach with my family. And even so, even/especially if they were naked pictures: i'd still have to be able to choose NOT to upload anything to the internet at all!
So all the same: why on earth am I now suddenly forced to upload those pictures to a cloud? A cloud where the security is beyond my control? Where the privacy is beyond my control? Where I have to subject myself to terms & conditions I don't agree with for the storage of *MY* pictures? What the hell...?

It's a matter of principle. They're my pictures, I want to decide what to do with them; and if I want my pictures kept completely private and not uploaded anywhere: that's my choice, and I should very damn well be able to keep 'em where *I* want to keep them.
My phone, my pictures, my choice. Where are the days when your material was your material? :)

In a conversation with an HTC representative, whom tried his best to help me by the way: kudos for that; and whom appeared slightly surprised as well with the new policy, I got to hear that this is new policy: and even if you disable your internet connection to generate the video and have it locally: the moment your phone makes connection with the internets again: it will be uploaded anyway. Don't want that? Well, it looks like your only option is to stop using HTC Zoe.
HTC rep:
... is that per policy Zoe is connected to the server and for you to use it, it has to be through that server ...
I am checking the information about the latest update on that app. It basically has full permissions, and can upload the content generated with it.
Now, it does not share anything. It's just uploaded, that you already know it...
But even if you disable the Internet on the phone, It will upload it once it get connected again.
Needless to say... I'm really not happy with this decision by HTC.
I found a loophole in their system that allowed me to overcome this issue: but I'm unfortunately rather sure it is only temporary, I dare bet that, unless HTC changes policy, there is no going back for me on the next system-wide Android + HTC Sense update... And that, still quite modestly put, pisses me off.

HTC has no business to force me what I can or cannot do with my content, and especially not whilst formerly I did not have to upload anything to make use of this awesome feature.
I had a function that allowed me to create awesome videos very quickly and easily, and I'm not fond of the fact that HTC decided to strip that feature away from me in favor of forcing me to upload my material to HTC's cloud.

I sincerely hope both myself as the representative have missed an option...
... But if we didn't: HTC, oh HTC... Shame on you for forcing this.