Barnes & Noble in mid-November joined the low-cost tablet race with its Nook Tablet 7. At just $50, the slate was strategically positioned to wage war this holiday season against similar entry-level devices like Amazon’s 7-inch Fire tablet (which can now be had for under $40, FYI).
Trading a Ulysses S. Grant for a Nook Tablet 7 seemed like a solid deal although according to a recent report from Linux Journal, buyers got a bit more than they bargained for.
The publication notes that Barnes & Noble’s new slate shipped with a program called Adups pre-installed. Adups, if you recall, is the same bit of spyware that was found to have infected an unknown number of budget Android smartphones including the BLU R1 HD. In fact, it was the R1 HD that led a security researcher from Kryptowire to discover Adups’ nefarious activity.
Kryptowire said at the time said Adups was capable of capturing and transmitting all sorts of sensitive user data including contact names, call and text logs, IP addresses and more, all without disclosure or user consent.
Barnes & Noble addressed the matter directly with 9to5Google, stating that by the time the Nook Tablet 7 went on sale on November 26, the device automatically updated to a newer version of Adups (5.5) that has been certified as complying with Google’s security requirements (when first connected to Wi-Fi).
What’s more, Barnes & Noble states that Adups confirmed with them that it never collected any personally identifiable information or location data from the Nook tablet, nor does it plan to do so in the future. Nevertheless, Barnes & Noble said it is working on an update that will remove Adups from the Nook Tablet 7 entirely. Said update should arrive in the coming weeks according to Barnes & Noble Chief Digital Officer Fred Argir.
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