(中英对照)扫描用户的图片 微信再一次被人抓了个正着
WeChat was caught again. This time is for scanning user’s photos


WeChat is in the news again - Negative news that is! Recently, it was revealed and verified that WeChat is scanning its clients' picture portfolios after the application is supposedly in a shut down condition. This sort of scanning activities not only occupy memory, they consume precious battery power from cell phones.

使用苹果在 iOS 15(上个月发布)中新的“应用活动记录”功能,微信被发现其后台每隔几个小时就会扫描客户的新照片。这是由一位网红在微博上公布的。微信是由腾讯控股运营、中国最大的社交媒体,其每月使用用户(MAU) 为 12.5 亿。微信的这一行为引发了隐私问题的讨论。

WeChat’s background scanning for new photos was said to run every few hours and found using Apple’s new “Record App Activity” feature in iOS 15 (released last month). The behaviour was publicized by an influencer on the microblogging platform Weibo. WeChat is China's largest social media app operated by Tencent Holdings, with 1.25 billion monthly active users (MAUs). The revealed behaviour sparked privacy concerns.

这位网红发现,微信在后台运行时会定期访问用户的照片,每次最长可达 1 分钟。测试结果的截图显示,微信每隔几个小时就会访问一次用户的图库。这位微博网红后来补充说,腾讯的 QQ 消息应用程序和阿里巴巴集团旗下拥有约9亿MAU的淘宝应用也被发现经常访问用户的照片。淘宝和QQ均对指控保持沉默。
It was found that WeChat periodically accesses user photos for durations of up to 1 minute each while running in the background. Screenshots of the surveillance results suggested WeChat accesses photo galleries every few hours. The same Weibo influencer later added that Tencent’s QQ messaging app and Taobao, Alibaba Group Holding’s top online shopping marketplace with roughly 900 million MAUs, have also been found to be routinely accessing user photos. Taobao and QQ would not respond to the allegations.

The scanning activity is “extremely disgusting”, the influencer said. Some additional level of data usage must have taken place, if only to transmit information back to the servers to collect results of the scannings and it is paid for by the user. A proposed solution was for users to turn off the “access permissions” in system settings to their photo galleries. Of course, that would make it difficult to run many applications without delays. Under such settings, permissions will need to be asked and obtained from the user each and every single time photographs are sent or received from the device.

微信代表表示,该应用程序会寻找新图像,以“让用户发送照片更快、更流畅”。微信向用户保证,该应用程序只有在获得用户授权后才能访问用户的图库。腾讯在一份声明中说: “微信非常重视用户隐私。未经用户授权,微信不会收集、保存或上传用户图库中的任何图片。” 不知何故,微信用户并不把这种保证当回事。
A WeChat representative said the application looks for new images to make it “faster and smoother for users to send photos”. The company assured users that the application only accesses the full user gallery when authorized by the user. “Weixin takes user privacy seriously,” the company said in a statement, using the Chinese name for WeChat. “Weixin does not collect, save, or upload any images from a user’s album without the user’s authorization.” Somehow, this assurance is not taken seriously by the users.

扫描图库问题曝光后,网友们开始分享他们对此问题的担忧。一位微博用户写道:“既然他们可以扫描照片,他们要阅读我手机里其他内容也很容易。”另一个说道:“在这个时代,我每一秒都在网上裸奔。” 事实上,没有人会相信窥视用户图片是这些居心不良的软件进行的唯一做法。根据以往发生的数据被盗事件,窃取用户联系人的数据是那些黑客们入侵手机或电子设备的首要目标。
After this issue was exposed, netizens started sharing their concerns about the activity. “Now that they can scan photos, it’s quite easy to read other stuff on the phone,” one Weibo user posted. Another said, “In this era, I’m running naked on the internet every second.” Indeed, no one will believe that looking at photography galleries would be the only single activity conducted by these delinquent pieces of software. Based on previous examples of data theft, a user's contact list and identities of hardware connected to the user's network are both top targets for most intrusions into someone's cell phone or electronic devices.

Eventually, a WeChat company representative said “Background scanning for new photos will be cancelled in the new version”. Can we believe that? If we do, then we will have to quote a one-time CCP leader Jiang Zemin : “Always simple, sometimes naive”.

Whatsapp 等软件应用程序收集数据(照片、视频)并将其传到 Facebook。这就是为什么在我用谷歌搜索特定品牌的鱼竿或在 WhatsApp 上将鱼竿图片发送给我的朋友后,各种(鱼竿)广告开始出现在我的 Facebook 页面上。至少这些已经不是新闻了,我们被要求(作为用户)允许此类行为作为继续免费使用这些应用程序的代价。
Software application such as Whatsapp collects metadata (photographs, videos) information and passes them onto Facebook. This is why after I googled at a specific brand of fishing rods or sent pictures of it on WhatsApp to my friends, all kinds of sponsored (fishing rod) advertisements start showing up on my Facebook pages. At least these facts are well publicized and we are asked (as users) to permit such actions as a condition for continued usage of these software applications.

我们不应容忍微信和其他应用程序偷窥用户图片的行为。他们是被逮住的小偷,应该受到监管机构的严厉惩罚,以儆效尤。 如果Apple iOS 能帮助其用户识别和防止小偷入侵; Microsoft Windows的用户是否应该在未来版本的 Windows 操作系统中要求有类似的防范功能?
This behaviour of WeChat and other applications to sneak a peek into users' photo galleries should not be condoned. Caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they should be severely penalized by regulatory authorities to discourage future attempts. Apple iOS helped its users to identify and verify these intrusions; should Microsoft Windows users demand similar features in the future versions of Windows operating systems?

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