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FTC to HTC: Patch Vulnerabilities On Smartphones and Tablets 111

Posted by timothy
from the tla-envy dept.
New submitter haberb writes "I always thought my HTC phones were of average or above average quality, and certainly no less secure than an vanilla Android install, but it turns out someone was still not impressed. 'Mobile device manufacturer HTC America has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for its smartphones and tablet computers, introducing security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk.' Perhaps this will push HTC to release some of the ICS upgrades they promised a few months ago but never delivered, or perhaps the reason they fell through in the first place?"
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FTC to HTC: Patch Vulnerabilities On Smartphones and Tablets

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  • Perhaps... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Saturday February 23, 2013 @08:42PM (#42992605)

    company failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software it developed for its smartphones and tablet computers, introducing security flaws that placed sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk

    It should also be illegal to install bloatware that is embedded to the point of not being removable (without at least rooting the device and perhaps voiding warranty). Nothing makes the phone more secure than facebook processes -- there are several, and a dozen other built-in crapware clients (peddling games, services, etc).

    And I don't think that buying full-priced phone changes anything, either.

  • Re:Perhaps... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:13AM (#42994035)

    Everyone talks about "voiding the warranty."

    But has anyone ever actually had a warranty claim denied just because the phone is/was rooted and/or running different software?

    Indeed, even HTC's own warranty statement doesn't seem to automatically exclude coverage for devices that are simply running different software.

    Well, the thing is, most people do NOT file warranty claims - they go back to their carrier and ask what to do. Because what happens if you have to send the phone to HTC and then wait for them to replace it - if you're lucky, it'll take a week. Most of the time it'll take 2 or more weeks. And you'll be spending a chunk on shipping and other things to get your RMA in.

    Most people will just go back to their carrier and then figure out what to do. If they broke the screen, they'd probably buy a new phone, or do an early upgrade. If it's a real fault like a bad power burron, they'd probably replace it or steer you towards the extended warranty.

    About the only people who do actually claim warranties are for Apple phones - mostly because you just go into the store and they can replace it on the spot. But you can't do that at a Samsung store, a Microsoft store, or other manufacturer store.

    But claiming warranty service is always a PITA - you call them up, get an RMA, ship it off, wait for it to be returned, etc. etc. etc.

    Carriers often provide their own warranty and extended warranty, and have the bulk power to basically make the manufacturer responsible for it - they'd just return them back en masse and claim it against future shipments. When that happens, who broke it, etc. gets lost and a company like HTC is in no way going to be able to individually deny warranty claims because it takes too much work when you're getting 1000 phones sent back.

    Most will simply be reflashed and tested - if they work, great, if not, fix it or use it for parts. Now, if it was you or I doing the whole warranty thing, maybe they'll test it and deny the claim. But when the carrier is returning thousands at a time (which could be a month or so), it's not so practical. Plus, unlike Apple, these companies NEED carrier business. If HTC started denying claims, the carrier can simply not bother to purchase HTC phones (or buy a lot less of them).

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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