Most of all think that storage cleaning apps or services are perhaps the most harmless part of our phone. But recently, a Reddit user posted about the “Device Care” property which is in all Samsung devices. As verified by Samsung itself, Device Care’s storage element is powered by “+360”. This is for who is unaware of it, +360 represents a Chinese anti-virus company “Qihoo 360”. This is not really a problem unless this company has had issues previously about stealing user’s data. Samsung has now finally removed this spyware from its Device Care app.
In the “Device Care” feature they added a Storage scanner on our phones that has full access to our personal data and if the Chinese government asks for this data, it must be given to them as stated by the Chinese laws and regulations.
A user on Reddit noticed this issue after when the “Device Care” app was updated for Android 10, the storage cleaner property is not seen longer. There was actually no mention of this on their changelog but you won’t see it anymore on the app. The library sourced from Qihoo 360 has also been removed. However, there are some strings related to it that’s still there but at least you now know that they have cut the connection with the “shady” company.
Though it is not purely clear yet that what type of data the Storage scanning module forwards to the Chinese servers, it was confirmed during the feature’s launch that it actually interacts with numerous servers based in China.
Many customers of Samsung have already raised this issue on official forums and submitted requests to remove “Qihoo 360” spyware from their Device Care.
Samsung clearly told that they only sent generic data to spyware Qihoo’s servers and other than that, the whole process of scanning and removing junk is done by themselves. U.S. government, are suspicious of Chinese tech companies, so there’s that paranoia or carefulness to contend with. So thanks to Samsung. Now we can not worry about this issue.
Update: As spotted by another Reddit users, Samsung has commented on the issue in the official Samsung Members app (Korea) and explained that “It does not use any function of 360 Security app, but outsourcing only database checking for unnecessary files.”