Home bred popular smartphone maker, Micromax is embroiled in a major controversy of remotely installing apps into phones without users' consent.
This news was first broken by the Reddit user going by the moniker, redddc25, who happens to own the Micromax Canvas Fire A093. He said that for the last one month his phone has been automatically installing numerous apps (to name a few - newshunt, snapdeal, amazon.in) without his knowledge.
He tried un-installing them, but to his surprise found that the very same apps had got installed a few days later. This apparently has cost him excess 3G data and loss of space in the memory.
That's not all. When he activated the 3G data on the phone, he was spammed with numerous online advertisement notifications.
"I am absolutely outraged and want to know what I can do to make Micromax stop highjacking my 3g and my internal storage space for their profit. Please help!," he said.
Soon after he posted his predicament on the Reddit forum, many Micromax users have come out and confirmed they too are facing similar experience on their Micromax phone.
Few tech-savvy people have even posted some temporary remedies. Users afflicted with this bug are advised to turn off the background data and root the device.
Taking cognizance of the report, top XDA forum member, diamondback conducted an independent investigation tearing in to Micromax's phone.
They found an application - FWUpgrade.apk on filesystem folder. It is learnt that the above firmware is a third-party app (developed by a Chinese company named Adups) which was replaced in place of stock Google OTA service app.
Inside the app, he found a few references to the company's website. It provided services like - App push service, Device Data Mining and Mobile advertising - all serving to boost the revenue.
This is a major security scare considering that these apps are putting loyal users' privacy at risk.
But we cannot accuse Micromax of fraud so soon. They might not know of this malware installed in their phone as it imports devices from Chinese OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
If Micromax really knew of this and have all along been colluding with the Chinese firm for the sake of profits, this is a setback to the fans who have taken Micromax to the world's top 10 smartphone makers' list.
Micromax has been a shining example of an Indian company making it big at the international level; but, if this issue is not fixed soon, Micromax will have a hard time competing with enterprising MNCs like Xiaomi and Motorola who are steadily growing in stature in the subcontinent.
Take Xiaomi for instance, a few months back it was also accused of storing sensitive user data in Chinese servers. Once the word got out in the media, it did not waste time and quickly made arrangements to shift all company servers to Singapore. It later confirmed to build local data centres in India soon.
As of now, Micromax is yet to respond to the media reports.