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Arkansas Sues Temu, Claims App Is Spyware

Arkansas Sues Temu, Claims App Is Spyware

Arkansas has filed a lawsuit against Temu, a Chinese shopping app, accusing it of being spyware. 

Attorney General Tim Griffin claims Temu and its parent company, PDD Holdings, are involved in “deceptive trade practices” through their data-collection policies. Griffin stated, “Temu is functionally malware and spyware,” alleging that the app can override data privacy settings and collect extensive data from users’ devices without authorization.

The lawsuit references Google temporarily suspending PDD’s Pinduoduo app and Apple briefly removing Temu from the iOS App Store due to privacy rule violations. However, no direct evidence of spying is provided. Instead, it cites third-party concerns about the range of data Temu can collect.

Griffin also alleges that Temu’s leadership includes former Chinese Communist Party officials, raising security concerns about potential spying by the Chinese government. The lawsuit seeks to stop Temu’s data collection and impose civil penalties.

A Temu spokesperson denied the allegations, calling them “totally unfounded” and based on misinformation. Some Republican lawmakers have urged the Biden administration to investigate and possibly ban Temu over concerns of forced labor and intellectual property theft.