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It’s been a little over half a year since security researchers at Kryptowire discovered software running on some budget smartphones that sends sensitive data to a server in China without notifying the the user of the phone. One of the phones in question was the popular (and dirt cheap) BLU R1 HD.

BLU released a software update to address the issue, but Kryptowire researchers told CNET recently that some BLU phones still are still running the offending software… and Amazon has responded by suspending sales of all BLU phone models until the issue is resolved. Sort of.

Update: BLU’s phones are on sale from Amazon once again, after BLU argued that it’s not doing anything wrong.


A quick scan of some of the BLU phones sold on Amazon.com shows that some models like the BLU R1 HD and BLU LIfe One X2 are listed as “currently unavailable.” But others, including the BLU Studio X8 HD and BLU Tank Xtreme 4.0 are still available for purchase.

As far as I can tell, the difference is that the phones you can still buy aren’t actually sold by Amazon. They’re fulfilled by Amazon, which means you’re actually buying the phone from a third-party store, but Amazon handles the transaction.

For its part, BLU claims that “there is absolutely no spyware or malware or secret software” on its devices, and that the company moved to disable the portion of the Adups OTA software that had been collecting contact details and text messages and to use Google’s OTA application on newer devices (although some older devices still have Adups… which BLU insists does not intrinsically constitute a privacy threat as long as the option to collect sensitive data is disabled).

Apparently Amazon wants more assurance before fully reinstating sales of BLU’s phones.

via Android Police

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5 replies on “Amazon (sort of) suspends sales of BLU smartphones due to security/privacy concerns”

  1. huawei battling rumor that they are doing the same…


  2. Just fixing is not enough. damage is done. If amazon stopped selling once and vendor says it is fixed and it is indeed not fixed amazon should impose more restrictions such as not sale BLU for a year or two or five so other vendors think twice/thrice before playing with sensitive data. It is not something to play with.

  3. Amazon won’t confirm or deny and all circuits to Blu are busy and cannot get answer on their email. Have no problems with their phones(have three in use but does that mean I go back to Motorola because of no service. Oh I guess I don’t get my soccer t- shirt either

  4. i have the Blu R1 HD and the R1 Plus. I see the R1 Plus is not available on amazon either. I don’t use the R1 Plus, its a back up to a back up. But if indeed amazon is suspending sales for the listed reason, then hats off to amazon. That puts a ton of pressure on Blu to get it right.
    the Blu R2 is coming out soon and could be a huge seller. Time to get right is now, Blu.

    1. Hey great news for those concerned about windows privacy intrusions:

      “Krypotwire is in beta for testing Windows” !!WooHoo!!

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