Imagine this - the Chinese government monitoring all of your personal texts, phone calls and online activity. This isn't the plot of a new thriller. It could be happening on your phone right now.
iPhone users can breathe a sigh of relief; it's only happening on Android operated phones made by the cellphone manufacturer Blu.
The phones are transmitting users' personal data to a computer server in China. According to Consumer Reports, the phone makes an encrypted record of several kinds of phone data, and every 72 hours it uploads the data to a server in China. Security experts told Consumer Reports those servers could have been accessible by the Chinese government.
This is what those phones look like, in case you think you may have one:
So what can you do if you have one? Blu told Consumer Reports it has since fixed the security vulnerability in the phones' software, so owners should be able to use their phone without incident.
For those who are still worried, you may be able to return your phone. For example, Amazon is extending the window for refunds on Blu phones past 30 days.
Consumer Reports found that as of now, this is only happening on phones sold by Blu, but it could affect models from other manufacturers.
Terra Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.