Is Zepeto a tracking app? Users are now deleting the game after rumours go viral

26 November 2018, 13:58 | Updated: 26 November 2018, 22:09

The Zepeto app has taken the internet by storm
The Zepeto app has taken the internet by storm. Picture: Zepeto/Naver Corporation
Katie Louise-Smith

By Katie Louise-Smith

Is Zepeto tracking you? People are starting to delete the app over fears that the game is tracking, tapping and recording their phones but it turns out that the whole thing was just a rumour started on social media.

We've all joked about the FBI agent watching us through our webcams meme (shout out to the one watching me write this article right now) but now, people are starting to freak out about a new app called Zepeto - and whether or not it is tracking its users.

If you've been on Twitter recently, you may have seen an influx of people sharing pictures of little animated versions of themselves. No, they're not the Snapchat Bitmojis, they're actually from Zepeto. The app, developed by Snow Corporation (available to download from the App Store and the Google Play Store), is gaining popularity in the US but after a rumour appeared on Twitter, users are now deleting the app out of fear that it could be recording their every move.

But what's the truth? Here's everything you need to know about the Zepeto tracking rumours:

Zepeto
Zepeto lets you turn yourself into a MUCH cuter 3D animated version. Picture: Zepeto/Naver Corporation

What is Zepeto?

Zepeto is an app that lets you create a 3D animated version of yourself to use in chatrooms. You take a picture of yourself and it'll create a personalised character for you (that you can also re-edit to make yourself cute as hell.) You can 'meet' other Zepeto characters on the 'street', play games and take pictures in photo booths with your friends' Zepeto characters.

The app has a huge user base in Asia but has recently started gaining a huge number of users in the US too. However, while it appears to all be fun and games, some users are now deleting the app because they're saying it is "tracking" and "recording" them.

Does Zepeto track its users? Is Zepeto tracking you?

There's no evidence to suggest that the app is 'spying' on its users but people have been pointing out a weird 'static' noise when you hold your phone up to your ear when you're using the app. It's definitely creepy but then again, that happens whenever you engage the microphone or speaker on your phone, or use an app that features sound or requires microphone access.

(Note: The same static noise can be heard from your speaker while using various other apps too, it's not just Zepeto... I checked. You're welcome.)

So, what's the truth? Apparently, the rumours reportedly started in a group chat and spread to Twitter. It seems as though the app doesn't 'track' you because it doesn't ask for your location. When you download the app, it will only ask for access to your camera and permission to send you push notifications.

The app is owned by Naver Corporation, the South Korean internet search giant. The company also owns SNOW, which is Asia's very popular version of Snapchat. Many users have said that they've had the Zepeto app on their phone for months and haven't had any weird or problematic occurrences.

Naver Corp, the company behind the app, haven't responded to the rumours nor have they released any statements. We'll update this article if an official announcement is made but until then... you know the drill: always be aware of what information you share on the internet, kids! That goes for apps too!

Oh, and don't forget to say hi to the FBI agent watching you through your webcam once in a while!