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What is the GetContact application and is it safe to learn how you are recorded in other people’s contacts

At the end of February the application GetContact became popular in Russia – users of social networks began to publish screenshots from it massively. One of the functions allows you to see how someone’s number is recorded in the phone books of different people, but for this the application needs to access all the contacts. Because of this, there were doubts about the safety of its use.

What is GetContact

The goal of the GetContact application is to specify the name of the caller, if it is not in the phone book. This is done to identify unknown numbers and protect against spam. To do this, the application must copy the phone number of the caller, after which it will show his name and, probably, a photo. GetContact collects a database of numbers so that any incoming call can be recognized from the first time.

The author of the application is Getcontact LLP, which Turkish citizens established in the UK in November 2017. According to the developer, they work in 148 countries.

The app is available on iOS and Android . According to the meter on the site, it has already been installed by more than two million people. As noted by , the application for the first time topped the rating of the Russian AppStore in the section “utilities” on February 8, 2018. On February 26, it took the first place among the most downloaded free applications.

The application had time to blame for the destruction of families: it is alleged that the user from Azerbaijan figured out the betrayal of her husband when she learned that he was recorded by someone under a woman’s name.

In PlayMarket there are many complaints about the inefficiency of the application. Users could not find many numbers, claimed to collect personal data and sent complaints to the application. Those who have already installed GetContact have encouraged others to immediately remove it or not install at all.

verification showed that GetContact shows user references only in contacts of his contacts who installed the application – some numbers could not be found.

Apparently, the database of numbers will only grow – according to the FAQsection , it expands every day. Hidden numbers that are not displayed when you call, the application does not recognize.

Why Get Contact was banned in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

The application was banned in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in early February due to the fact that it violates the laws on personal data and their protection.

Earlier, the media reported that the application was also banned in Kyrgyzstan, but it was not possible to find this confirmation: on February 9, after the ban in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, it was still available . After this news, there was no news about the locks.

After blocking GetContact in Kazakhstan, Codebusters development team launched its analog – GetContact_. The head of the company Murat Alikhanov said that it quickly became popular and allows you to earn on advertising about a thousand dollars a day. According to him, the team is ready to block. On February 28, the creators of GetContact_ renamed their service in Pootin, .

How does the application relate to personal data and why does Roskomnadzor want to check it?

On February 28, Roskomnadzor warned Russian users about the dangers of the application. The Office explained that the user of the application during the installation gives access to all information from its page or phone.

Roskomnadzor urged users to “at least have a little control over themselves” before installing “questionable applications.” The agency promised to check Get Contact. It has not yet gathered to block the application, but in the event of a violation, it may restrict access to it.

Among your contact details, the phone can also record credit card data, its PIN, passwords from private offices, etc., and all of this is also available in public databases after installing such applications. Remember that unscrupulous developers of these applications can then sell the collected database to anyone: collectors, scammers and others.

Roskomnadzor

As noted by Pikabu, among the information that the application can distribute, there are telephone numbers, social network accounts, photos, postal addresses, IP addresses and telephone records. Users of the application are afraid of aggressive spam and mailing Trojans.

The application rules say that GetContact can share any user information “with any third party”. It can also send messages by mail or SMS, as well as “carry out marketing activities permitted by law”.

Screenshot from the rules of the Get Contact application
Screenshot from the rules of the Get Contact application
In the description of the application on Google Play, it says that the application “protects against malicious marketing calls by blocking them.” The FAQ section says that the application does not distribute any data, except contact information. sent a request to GetContact, but received no response.

Reddit users compared GetContact with the application of the Swedish company TrueCaller . It “filters out” unnecessary calls and also represents a global telephone directory, marks the numbers from which incoming calls and messages come in, and also allows you to create a backup copy of the phone book.

How to protect your data

Many users of GetContact note that it is very difficult to remove an account from the application and your phone from the database. For this you need:

  • delete the account itself – this can be done in the application settings in the “About Get Contact” item;
  • Go to the Unlist section of the application site and remove the number from the database.

It can take up to 24 hours to remove from the database. In this case, if you log into the application again, the user data will appear again in the search results. “Fused” in the database people contacts will remain in the application, even if you delete the number.

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