According to a new report from CNET, Amazon is suspending sales of smartphones from Blu. The move comes as Blu phones are increasingly the subject of privacy concerns related to user tracking and data collecting.
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Amazon explained its reasoning for the move in a statement, citing a “potential security issue.” For more specific information, the online retailer asked users to contact Blu customer support directly.
The statement reads as follows:
“Because security and privacy of our customers is of the utmost importance, all BLU phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on Amazon.com until the issue is resolved,” Amazon said in a statement.
Interestingly, Blu was originally a member of Amazon’s “Prime Exclusive Phones” program, which offered users discounted hardware in exchange for ads on their lock screen. Following today’s decision, Amazon has removed Blu smartphones from the program altogether.
A report from security firm Kryptowire detailed how select budget Android phones, including ones from Blu, are subject to a hidden backdoor that collects user information and sends it back to China. The report explained that users were not notified of the data collection and the information included things such as SMS info, call logs, contact names, IP information, IMEI data, and more.
While Blu isn’t necessarily a household name in the smartphone industry, the company has built a reputation for its budget-focused devices. For instance, the Blu R1 HD was popular thanks to its $50 price tag, though it’s now believed to be one of the devices affected by the data tracking.
By removing Blu devices from its website, Amazon is taking away a huge retail outlet for the smartphone maker. Hopefully such a punishment will encourage the company to clean up its act and further what exactly is going on.