Lawsuits claim shopping app TEMU gives company access to ‘literally everything’ on your phone

ATLANTA — There are new privacy concerns about one of the fastest-growing apps on your phone.

Online shopping site TEMU is now the target of multiple proposed class action lawsuits.

Investigator Justin Gray at our sister station WSB-TV learned that one of those class action lawsuits focuses on what the TEMU app does to your cell phone.

The lawsuit alleges TEMU gains access to literally everything on your phone.

The company’s Super Bowl ads brought even more spotlight to the Chinese retailer which was already a social media phenomenon.

Posters brag about what they call TEMU hauls, but TEMU itself often pays for the posts.

“TEMU is actually sponsoring today’s video, so that’s really exciting,” one social media video said.

Multiple proposed class action lawsuits allege there’s a privacy trade-off with the incredibly low prices TEMU offers.

A lawsuit alleges TEMU uses spyware and malware that “TEMU collects user data beyond what is necessary for an online shopping app” and it gains access to “literally everything on your phone.”

Another proposed class action suit claims TEMU doesn’t protect data, alleging a “failure to secure and safeguard its customers’ personal data.”

Georgia Tech student Shadah Mohammad told Gray that she couldn’t resist those eye-poppingly cheap deals. Then she learned about the lawsuits.

“I heard about that. So I haven’t shopped there since. Definitely scared about that,” Mohammad said.

TEMU sent Gray a statement, saying:

“We categorically deny the allegations and intend to vigorously defend ourselves against these meritless lawsuits. The truth is that safeguarding privacy is one of TEMU’s core values.”

Consumer adviser Clark Howard opened an account and bought items himself to test TEMU out.

“TEMU is crazy cheap,” Howard said. “Know that the savings are great, but it comes with a great cost.”

Howard found incredible prices and decent quality but warns the cost could be your private data.

“You’re giving permission for so much intrusion into your private life,” Howard said.

Mohammad said she wasn’t taking any chances.

“So you deleted it off your phone?” Gray asked Mohammad.

“Yeah, I deleted my accounts. Unsubscribed completely,” Mohammad said.

TEMU counters that if you look at the data disclosures in the app store, they gather data in fewer categories than competitors like Amazon.

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