Is “Digit” a Nasty, Deceptive, User Data Selling Android App?

By Bill Toulas / September 18, 2019

According to a piece by BotCrawl, an app named “Digit Save Money Automatically” is one that you should avoid installing on your Android device. Developed by “Hello Digit Inc.”, and available on the Play Store where it has a score of 4.3 out of 25k user reviews, this app is accused of being deceptive. More specifically, BotCrawl states that Digit is tricking people into thinking that the app is available free of charge, and then draws $5 per month from their connected bank account.

While the app does include a notice, albeit an almost hidden one, clarifying that it’s free for the first 30 days and then charges $5/month, some people have reported single charges of up to $30. This is likely a case of confusion that is caused by combining savings and subscription costs. Digit promises to help users save money without thinking about it, by simply connecting their bank account to the app and then letting it recognize spending trends. Digit then withdraws money from the banking account to the Digit account, which is held at FDIC-insured banks. The app claims to have saved over a billion dollars for its users since it came out in 2017.



The only warning that the user will get about the subscription cost, however, comes on the last page of the “Get Started” presentation and requires the user to swipe there to see it. To be fair, we also found the pricing details on the Play Store description, although one would have to click on “Read More” to get to them. We understand why BotCrawl sees this as part of deceptive tactics, but Digit is not doing anything illegal here. Users should be more careful with what they install on their phones, and what they connect their bank accounts with.

On that same page, users should read Digit’s privacy policy, which clearly states that they collect and sell user data with affiliated and unaffiliated third parties. The information that is entailed in this process is personal, including usernames, email addresses, phone numbers, transaction data, device IP, device hardware and settings, and even the location preferences. According to user reports, this activity has resulted in them receiving emails and SMS messages from unexpected advertising sources who knew about purchases they’ve made in the recent past. Again, not many read privacy policies, and Digit isn’t offering it right on the app but on their website. Something that could be deceptive on this area is the 128-bit SSL encryption with which Digit claims to protect your sensitive personal information. People who won't read the privacy policy but only the app description would falsely believe that their data is safe, and not shared with anyone.

Do you use Digit for savings? Can you confirm the above? Let us know in the comments down below, or share this through our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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