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Privacy group calls for investigation into Jay-Z’s Samsung app as album hits US number one, breaks streaming record

By | Published on Wednesday 17 July 2013


The Electronic Privacy Information Center – that’s EPIC for short – has called on the US government’s Federal Trade Commission to investigate the app through which Jay-Z made his new album, ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, available to one million Samsung mobile phone users ahead of its official release.

As previously reported, there was much criticism of the app for its demands to access users’ own personal details, as well as details about the contacts stored in their phones.

The privacy organisation said in its complaint: “Samsung failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the ‘Magna Carta’ app, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimisation procedures”.

Responding to this, Samsung said in a statement: “Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process”.

In other Jay-Z news, despite giving away one million copies of ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ for free, the rapper still managed to sell 527,000 copies of the new record in the US during its first week on sale – the second biggest one-week sales of the year in the American market – sending it straight to number one in the Billboard chart.

It also broke a Spotify record for first week streams. Users of the streaming service played the album fourteen million times, vastly outstripping the previous record holders Daft Punk, who scored 9.5 million streams when their third album, ‘Random Access Memories’, was released in May.