Move over Flappy Bird, there’s a new queen of the app store who’s skyrocketing her way to the top, thanks to social media attention and outlandish feedback. Talking Angela has become one of the most talked-about apps in the online market, having made its way up to the No. 3 spot on the overall charts.
Unlike Flappy Bird, however, which developed a cult-like following and crazed fan base, much of the feedback about Talking Angela has been negative. Some users have even gone so far as to say that this app is invading the privacy of children and serving as cause for serious concern.
What people are saying
At first glance, Talking Angela just looks like a cute little cat sitting at a table, asking friendly questions of the user. This is actually a familiar approach from the developers of Talking Angela: Outfit7 had success with previous games such as Talking Tom and Friends.
However, once parents began listening to some of the questions that Angela is asking, some said they worried that the questions might be a bit too personal.
The fear is that through some sort of subliminal messaging, Talking Angela is asking questions that will relay information to servers at Outfit7 and put certain users in danger. Although Angela isn’t explicitly coming out and asking these questions, some users have suggested that its roundabout questioning is enough to provide fairly detailed information about the person who responds to Angela’s queries.
Furthermore, the app can even use the front camera of your phone to take pictures of you as you answer the questions. That information could be collated to build a specific outline of the user, which Outfit7 stores in its servers.
Because Outfit7 has used this type of app model previously with Talking Tom, the company has protested that nothing suspicious is happening with its servers. However, some have asked what would happen if Outfit7 were to have its servers hacked so that all the personal information would become available to other users.
We’ve seen some of the biggest companies in the tech and retail industries get hacked, even though they claimed to be completely secure, so there’s no reason to believe that Outfit7 would be any better prepared to secure its servers.
Outfit7 has recorded 1.5 billion downloads between all of the company’s apps, so there’s no denying the firm has achieved a high magnitude of services. The company is also likely to be aware that with the more publicity it generates, the more eyes will be on it and the tighter Outfit7 will have to be about the way it manages access to its computer systems.
Surely the company would not wish to risk slipping up with an anti-privacy app that tricks children into giving up personal information.
The issue here ultimately concerns not just Outfit7, but all app companies. Most apps in the app store come from independent developers who can pretty much put anything online for sale that they choose.
It becomes the responsibility of the user to be extra aware and familiar with exactly what it is he or she downloads and how the person proceeds to interact with the app.