UPDATE: Jay Z Is Listening to Your Phone Calls

jay z nsa

2004 – “Well, I ain’t passed the bar but I know a little bit. Enough that you won’t illegally search my shit.”

2013 – Jay Z ain’t passed the bar, but he know a little bit. Enough that FISA lets him illegally search your shit.

You know that dick pic you sent your girl and the NSA? Well now Jay Z’s getting in on the spying fun.

In a bit over a week, the Samsung app containing “Jay Z’s Magna Carta.. Holy Grail” (ALBUM STREAM HERE) has been downloaded by a half million people waiting to hear Jay’s new album for free. Killer Mike was one of those fans, but balked at the idea of Jay Z needing to know where he was at all times:


Putting Jay Z’s album on your smartphone allows the app to “modify or delete contents of your USB storage,” “prevent phone from sleeping” in order to retrieve running apps, access “approximate network location” as well as “precise GPS location,” full network communication access, “read phone status and identity,” and more.

This app permission warning usually comes with a Facebook or Twitter download, but we’re talking about an album here. Is your privacy worth $15 in the age of Big Brother?

Data mining and collection is all the rage among interested parties, so we shouldn’t be surprised that digital music marketers are hoping to learn and bank off potential customers’ habits. But the spying and the forced social media registration turns every fan into a walking ad billboard. “If you’re havin’ privacy problems, I feel bad for you son…”

My opinion to Samsung owners is to copy the music to your phone and then delete the app, unless you want to be in Jay-Z’s rolodex, which I completely understand.

7/16/2013 UPDATE: The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Jay Z and Samsung on the fact that they never “[disclosed] material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the Magna Carta App, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimization procedures.”

Samsung replied with “We’re really sorry!” Just kidding: “Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process.”

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