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Huawei made moderately-sized waves during MWC 2023 last week, when it was reported that the company had plastered over its exhibition boards and components, all in order to protect the identity of its chips suppliers. Now, despite the annual event already being over, there’s now news that the brand was allegedly tracking visitors that entered its booth.

According to LightReading, visitors to Huawei’s booth at Barcelona would be given a “Huawei Card” just before they entered the exhibit. This card comprised a badge, lanyard, and what appeared to be a small container attached to the end of the lanyard. Upon completing their visit, the visitors would then be asked to return the card but unsurprisingly, some cards made it out of the booth, due forgivable act of some attendees just simply forgetting to return them.

(Image source: LightReading.)

It was these same attendees that forgot to return the Huawei Card that then cracked open the container, which is when they discovered a tiny electronic chip inside. Upon closer inspection of the object, the visitors also noticed that there was some fine print on the back of the badge.

“We use RFID and Bluetooth technology to collect the swipe time of this Huawei Card at the entrance of Huawei exhibition area, real-time location information and the residence time information of this Huawei Card holder within Huawei exhibition area, such information will be collected and processed only for the purpose of analyzing the overall interests of our invitees in our products to enhance our service quality. We will protect such information according to our Privacy Policy.”

The discovery of the tracker embedded within the Huawei Card and the subsequent report that followed clearly took some folks by surprise, none more so than the GSMA and Rolf Werner, Senior Vice President of Nokia Europe, who also showed off the disassembled device to the source. GSMA says that it is investigating the accusation, but has yet to release any official comment.

It goes without saying that this discovery of the alleged tracker within the Huawei Card is not a good look for the company, especially when you remember that the brand is currently under heavy scrutiny by several countries the world over, and that is to say nothing of the multiple banhammers it has received from the US and its allied nations.

(Source: LightReading via Android Authority)

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