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Quibi leaked user data to multiple ad firms

Quibi arrived for iPhone and Android last week with a 90-day free trial and a 1-year Free subscription for T-Mobile customers. Quibi has now been downloaded 2.7 million times, but today’s story isn’t so positive.

Now one month after its launch a new report from a digital strategy firm called Victory Medium claims Quibi’s signup process leaked data.

When a new user signs up, they receive an email with a verification link, clicking that link appended their address to the URL and sent it in plain text to 3rd parties.

As our fellow Scroll Publisher, The Verge points out Quibi is not the only company found to be leaking addresses. JetBlue, Wish and the Washington Post are guilty of this kind of data leakage. Quibi said that it’s fixed the issue the report raised and went on to say “The moment the issue on our web page was revealed to our security and engineering team, we fixed it immediately,” the company said, adding “Data protection is essential to Quibi and the security of user information is of the highest priority.”

Want to know where your email address was sent by Quibi:

1) Google’s DoubleClick.net endpoint

2) Google’s updated ads endpoint @ google.com

3) Google Tag Manager (and therefore potentially custom tags could fire for specific visitors/geos/URL params, thus leaking this to more companies)

4) Twitter ads endpoint

5) Snapchat ads endpoint & the tr.Snapchat.com subdomain

6) Google Cloud infrastructure via cloudfunctions.net

7) CivicComputing.com, which redirects to https://www.civicuk.com/ and appears to be a company based in the United Kingdom.. this raises big GDPR red flags….

8) Facebook events / custom audiences for ads

9) Google ads conversion pixel

10) Twitter ads conversion pixel

11) Google Analytics

12) Facebook analytics, Google Analytics, Twitter analytics (they fire at the end of the page load again)

Variety noted that Quibi’s privacy policy disclosed that it may share “personal information” with third-parties to let them provide services like “personalized advertising, ad measurement and verification.” So the question is are our email addresses considered personal information?

In what looks to be a reaction to the incoming bad press Quibi is putting the first episodes of Most Dangerous Game, The Stranger and Dummy on YouTube to watch for free.

What’s really interesting about this move is that this could be the quickest route to getting their shows onto larger displays like Laptops and TV’s. If Quibi can put their shows behind a paywall on YouTube then they could see a rise in popularity thus fixing one of the most glaring commissions at launch.

Quibi Overview

The service is from the mind of Jeffery Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman. It was designed specifically for smartphones and the shows are like movies that you consume in small 10 minute or less portions. After spending $1 Billion on shows and their stars we will see if people really want to stare at their small screens at home during the pandemic or opt for larger ones.

Since it was designed for smartphones their are no other apps available not even a web app. If you are willing to watch video on your phone when you laptop, tablet and TV are nearby then checkout the show lineup below.

One of the neat tricks that app has up its sleeve is the ability to play the content in either landscape or portrait. It seems to handle the rotating well, it even reconfigured the credits for the orientation. The rotating of your phone can sometime reveal areas of the shot not seen in one orientation, so you might find yourself with a pop socket rotating your phone during the shows.

T-Mobile customers will be able to trial Quibi for 1 year.

There are a few glaring omissions we need to point out:

  • No user profiles like Netflix
  • Only on stream at a time
  • Just phone apps, no TV, Laptop, Tablet apps

The price for the service is $4.99 (with Ads) or $7.99 (Ad-free). The price seems high considering the only way to enjoy the content is on one phone at a time. Might be worth trying for 90-days though.

Source: Digital Trends

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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