Gamers warn that the AXS Mobile App needed to enter BlizzCon is ‘spyware level bad’


Those who are headed to this year’s BlizzCon event are being required to use the AXS Mobile App as part of efforts to deter dupes and fraud. A bit of sleuthing from the folks at Reddit, however, has unearthed the revelation that this particular app seems… intrusive, to put it mildly.

A quick look at the needed permissions for the app to run includes giving up your mobile device’s contact information, your location, your camera, your wi-fi connection information, your network information as well as full network access and the ability to receive data from the internet, the ability to pair with Bluetooth devices, your battery stats, permission to run at phone startup, and permission to prevent the device from sleeping. These Big Brother-level permissions are likely to ensure folks who are attending BlizzCon are supposed to be there (i.e., preventing scalping) as well as to track which parts of the event saw high attendance, but the ability to adjust system settings could mean that it could theoretically turn on GPS even if you manually told your phone not to and rather dangerously scrape and transmit reams of personal data over the internet without your direct knowledge. And it’s all a bit much for a glorified ticket app.

An article from The Outline posted last year goes deeper, exploring the AXS app’s privacy policy, which expressly states that it has permission to send all of this collected data to “current or future affiliated entities, subsidiaries, and parent companies” as well as “trusted third parties, such as our Partners, sponsors, or their affiliates and subsidiaries and other related entities for marketing, advertising, or other commercial purposes, [as well as] allow third parties to access certain Sites for marketing purposes.” This is pretty much boilerplate for a privacy policy, mind you, but given just how much data this app is collecting, you might be less inclined to click “agree” for this particular app.

A blue post has offered a potential workaround in the form of going to the “Solutions Desk” for those experiencing problems with the app, so attendees who are concerned about privacy are being urged to not install the app and instead head to this desk. Of course, there are those who see a mountain out of a molehill or believe this is not a concern. You, of course, should be the judge and arbiter of your own mobile privacy destiny.

source: World of Warcraft subreddit, more. Thanks, Mordyjuice and Paragon!
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