HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Cybersecurity experts are warning that the app, Temu, may be collecting your personal data.
Temu is an online megastore that is known for its steps discounts and referral bonuses. It’s gaining traction on social media for its low prices and targeted ads.
Michael McPherson with Reliaquest said that the good deal isn’t worth the risk.
“Not only the data you share, you’re personal data, but also the data that could be scraped from your computer,” McPherson said.
Temu’s Such deep discounts. In fact, we found a wedding dress for only $23.
Richard Crone with Crone Consulting said, “It’s more than working; they’re inventing a new category of retail.”
The items are coming directly from Chinese manufacturers at low prices. Crone said they are social advertising experts, offering deals and paying bounties to grow its user base.
“If you’re willing to wait, then you can get a deep discount. If you’re willing to log on and share your data, we’ll give you a bonus. If you’re willing to refer, we’ll give you a bounty, so all of this is helping to create a strong enrolled user base,” Crone said.
Some people view it as free money because of the giveaways.
Temu is owned by PDD, which is a China-based company.
McPherson said that’s the big concern because China could have access to your data through Temu.
“It has access to your wifi network, it has access to your GPS, your microphone, all these types of things it can access through your device, which could further give it access to other devices,” McPherson said.
He said he views Temu as an information-gathering app and suggests deleting it from your device.
Richard Crone with Crone Consulting said he thinks it is safe.
“It’s safe to shop in Temu. It’s even safer if you use a mobile wallet like PayPal, which doesn’t share your payment credentials with Temu,” Crone said.
Some complaints submitted to the Better Business Bureau include mysterious charges, wrong orders, and bad customer service. We also spoke to a few people who purchased from the app and had no issues.
Crone said shipping delays are the price you pay for the massive discounts, but McPherson said his big concern is the data risk.
“Maybe you work at a place that they want access to, so now they have access to your device. You bring your device to work now they have access to a work network,” McPherson said.