Quibi is now in the hot seat for sharing its new users’ email addresses to its advertising partners.
The investigator found out that Quibi isn’t the only company doing this in 2020. The name of the game right now for most tech companies is data security.
It is through data that companies get to see which direction their company must head to. These data sets are accumulated and analyzed over a long period of time to make sound decisions.
Unless these data are secure, companies are vulnerable to phishing and hostile hack takeovers. Big companies such as Google and Apple put this emphasis on data security.
They echo this mantra towards handling their users’ data. Unfortunately for other companies, their data security isn’t tight by fault or by design.
Quibi deliberately sends out users’ email addresses to ad platforms
Zach Edwards conducted a thorough investigation on Quibi’s method of gathering user information. The lengthy post highlighted the manner by which Quibi deliberately redirects their users’ information for advertising money.
When a new user signs up for Quibi’s streaming service they receive a verification link by email. As soon as the user clicks on the link, their email addresses get upended to the URL. The URL then subsequently gets forwarded as plain text to several advertising companies.
— heathergtv (@heathergtv) April 30, 2020
Some of the companies that receive the plain text include Google’s doubleclick.net endpoint, Twitter ads endpoint, and Facebook events / custom audiences for ads.
Quibi is not alone in this unacceptable practice
The research discovered that several other companies such as JetBlue, Wish, and Washington Post did the same practice. Nevertheless, the Edwards found that Quibi’s act is the most unacceptable among all. Needless to say that he despised the acts of the other companies too.
He mentioned that Quibi has only been in the industry for less than a month yet they are already breaching data privacy laws. He added that the company has a strong financial backing making their act look even more deplorable.
A few hours before the investigation was uploaded, Quibi reached out to Edwards saying that the company has already fixed the complained issues. Unfortunately, as of April 26 Edwards still found out that the company hasn’t fixed anything.
Edwards doubts that the company didn’t know that such problem exists. In fact he believes that the design was made with the intention of really sharing their users’ information
It’s 2020, and this type of growth-hack needs to stop being green lit. Quibi needs to explain to their users why this was done and why it hasn’t been changed even after being notified…
Image courtesy of Webaroo/ Unsplash