Dutch Consumer Group files lawsuit against Samsung for failing to provide updates its Android smartphones
The Consumentenbond (Dutch Consumers’ Association) filed a lawsuit against the South Korean smartphone manufacturer, Samsung for not providing enough information about software updates, security vulnerabilities, or the updates themselves.
The Consumentenbond is a Dutch association that has almost half a million members. It was formed based on the commitment of upholding and improving the rights of every Dutch consumer, protecting these rights whenever they are at risk.
According to the agency, a recent survey in the Netherlands indicated that “82% of the Samsung phones examined had not been provided with the latest Android version in the two years after being introduced.” The said failure in providing the latest update leaves the devices vulnerable to issues on security and others, the agency added.
Therefore, the consumer group has accused Samsung of unfair trade practices.
Bart Combée, director of the Consumentenbond (the Dutch Consumers’ Association), which has over 500,000 members, explained: “On buying a Samsung Android device, consumers are given inadequate information about how long they will continue to receive software updates. The Consumentenbond is demanding that Samsung provide its customers with clear and unambiguous information about this. Samsung moreover provides insufficient information about critical security vulnerabilities, such as Stagefright, in its Android phones. Finally, the Consumentenbond is demanding that Samsung actually provide its smartphones with updates.”
He added that his agency is demanding that the South Korean mobile giant be more transparent on how long a smartphone will be supported and provide Samsung mobile users a timeframe for when consumers can expect an update.
Moreover, he said that Samsung provides insufficient information about critical security vulnerabilities, such as Stagefright, in its Android phones. Lastly, the agency demands that Samsung should provide regular updates to its handsets that fix significant issues on a device’s security and performance.
Samsung is famously known for not being able to release Android updates as soon as they become available. In August 2015, Samsung announced to roll out Google’s monthly OS security updates following the revelation of Android’s massive Stagefright vulnerability. The company released the list of devices that were expected to receive the upgrade. Apparently, only its newest devices were on the list, and not every Galaxy phone and tablet currently in use, Neowin reported.
Samsung has 80 percent of the smartphone market share in the Netherlands. While the lawsuit is only targeting Korean OEM, the agency has also acknowledged the fact that any new laws enforced after the lawsuit would be applied to all smartphone manufacturers in the country.
“The Consumentenbond is focusing on Samsung first because Samsung is the undisputed market leader in Android phones in the Netherlands,” said the agency. “However, other manufacturers are also failing to provide proper updates for their devices.”
It remains to be seen whether Samsung will eventually be forced to comply with any demands regarding smartphone support remains to be determined, and if the agency can get the desired results following its failed talks with the OEM in December.
When asked about the action, a Samsung spokesperson stated, “At Samsung, we understand that our success depends on consumers’ trust in us, and the products and services that we provide. That is why we have made a number of commitments in recent months to better inform consumers about the status of security issues, and the measures we are taking to address those issues. Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded.”