Rumor: Talking Angela App Privacy Concerns

A rumor states that the Talking Angela app spies on children by asks personal questions. Today we'll take a look at this rumor a little more closely.

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It’s not true.

Aside from the ALL CAPS rumor, rife with grammatical errors, there is no corroborating evidence or news report that any of the accusations are true. First, however, let’s take a look at the rumor itself.

WARNING FOR TO ALL PARENTS WITH CHILDREN THAT HAVE ANY ELECTRONIC DEVICES , EX : IPOD,TABLETS ETC …. THERE IS A SITE CALLED TALKING ANGELA , THIS SITE ASKS KIDS QUESTIONS LIKE : THERE NAMES , WHERE THEY GO TO SCHOOL AND ALSO TAKE PICTURES OF THEIR FACES BY PUSHING A HEART ON THE BOTTOM LEFT CORNER WITHOUT ANY NOTICES . PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHILDREN’S IPODS AND ALL TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT HAVE THIS APP !!! PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS THAT HAVE KIDS !!!!

Note that the rumor describes Talking Angela as a “site” when it is really an app. The description of the Talking Angela app on the Google Play marketplace reads:

Join Talking Angela in Paris, the city of love and style! Wow her and treat her like a princess because let’s face it, she IS a princess.

Chat with her, buy her presents and choose her wardrobe. You can even smile at her or show her your tongue (but that’s no way to treat a lady)!


She is not alone in the city though, you may see a familiar face pop up here and there but in a completely different role!

Outfit7

The Talking Angela app was created by Outfit7, which has released several popular apps for iOS and Android devices since being founded in 2009. Their privacy policy states that they collect limited data from their apps such as IP address, zip code, language, country code, time zone, and other technical data.

There are several other “talking” apps by Outfit7 with a similar design that have not generated the same warnings as Talking Angela. Talking Gina the Giraffe, for example, was downloaded over one million times in just four days.

Developer Response

We reached out to the developer and received a very prompt reply, which in part read:

Thank you for your concern. This is a well-known hoax that originated on Facebook. It is definitely NOT TRUE!

The description clearly informs the user that one of the core functionalities of the app is chat, which requires two-way communication, where Angela (a chat bot, not a real person) answers with text and voice in English and talks to the user about a variety of subjects.

The data collected by the app from the user is not shared with anyone and is actually sent to Outfit7 only in the form of an anonymized data log (no names, no numbers, no personal data). This fact is clearly disclosed within the description of the app. The detailed privacy policy is available here:
http://outfit7.com/privacy-policy/.

The screenshots within the description clearly show that the app enables the user to take a picture of himself and share those pictures to social media services like Facebook or Twitter. This is only done if the user
wants to do it and the photos are not sent anywhere else.

*P.S. Below is the relevant excerpt of our Privacy Policy.*

Collection of Data Log files
Application might automatically send anonymized and obfuscated data log files to us that contain detailed data on your usage of the Application (e.g. data log files containing chat history, where (i) such history cannot be attributed to any individual person; and (ii) any personal details (e.g. personal names, addresses, numbers, places, etc.) are obfuscated / deleted). Such data log files are used solely for the purpose of analysis, development and improvement of individual functions within the Application with the aim to make the Application more appealing to users. Such data log files do not enable us to identify any individuals directly. Any such collection of data log files shall be clearly disclosed within the description of the Application on the market and an implied but informed consent shall be deemed to be given to us by downloading and using the Application.

2014

The first round of Talking Angela rumors circulated in 2013, but it has resurfaced again in early 2014. Despite the misguided dire warning above, as of February 2014 Talking Angela has a 4.5 rating out of 5 stars on the Google Play app store, based on over 200,000 reviews.

See our full recap of the 2014 resurgence of the Talking Angela hoax here.

Bottom Line

Talking Angela does not spy on those who use it. There is nothing about the Talking Angela app that sets it apart from the countless other apps on the market.

Updated February 13, 2014

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14 Comments on Rumor: Talking Angela App Privacy Concerns

  1. A boy called Gregory said he was your friend he is 14 is he

  2. yes im only in p6 and my friends were talking about it

  3. people say that you are scary is that ture .

  4. Dude all u people out there that are seeing good reviews about this “Talking Angela” game, DO NOT BELIEVE THEM because one of my friends took a photo while he was playing the game and he zoomed in and he saw a man in the eyes!!! IM WARNING YOU NOW THAT THIS GAME IS CREEPY AND IT CAN HARM OR EVEN TRAUMATIZE YOUR KIDS. I REPEAT DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS GAME

    • u r right im only 10 and my friend found a review saying . you can delet me but ill hunt you down . plz help me find out more about him and stop him

  5. Talking angela may be from a corporation/company but most of information has shown that thy talking angela was just a normal app and a “hacker” took possession of app without the company knowing. There has been many evidence of such behavior that is even on the app/play store when you read the app permissions it says microphone record audio, camera take pictures and videos, phone calls read phone statues and identity, network communication full network access. (Q: why would an app that you talk to need internet A: because the man is streaming you and watching at all) If a person were to zoom in at “Angela’s” eyes you can even see the man that is the “hacker”, and im just saying this comes to my interest because I has many little that can easily be tricked and I as many people dont want that to happen with best hope and wish I would advise you to please check you children’s electronics and explain what is happening.

    • P.S. He chose the app talking angela because of the very reason that it mostly will appeal to the feminine gender and not a boy character he’s looking for little girls again please be carefull.

    • The logistics of this assertion make no sense. When hundreds of thousands of users are playing with Talking Angela at the same time, is this man viewing all of them, or are there hundreds of thousands of men watching?

      What are your sources?

  6. That’s good and all, to those above, but I’ve seen no proof that the app did what was claimed.

  7. I just have to wonder why anybody would create an interactive child’s app that tells the child to show them their tongue? THAT is creepy. Sorry, but bleeech.

  8. Latricia Daniel // February 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm // Reply

    I happen to believe it IS true, or else it had been hacked in a particular case. What it did and said was just too creepy and extremely personal. That family has the law looking into it.

  9. ani eucharia // December 28, 2013 at 4:18 am // Reply

    I like dis talking cat

  10. Your comment reminds me of the rumors that anti-virus developers were secretly developing and releasing viruses to make their software more necessary. And certainly rumors have been spread in the manner that you describe.

    I don’t think I could dumb myself down enough to create one of those ALL CAPS warnings, rife with spelling errors, that would be convincing enough! :-)

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