Verizon, one of the largest mobile networks in the United States, has rolled out an over-the-air (OTA) update for the Samsung Galaxy S7 that installs an unwanted app called DT Ignite.

According to users, Verizon has released a "carrier-approved trojan horse," which basically installs new apps on the device even without the users' consent. The DT Ignite is a preload program that automates initial device setup for mobile operators. It automatically loads the configuration and initial apps prior to first boot of the device and also provides application management over the life of the device.

This is not the first time Ignite has been used in a smartphone device. Back in 2014, Verizon and T-Mobile networks have been widely criticized by customers for deploying the same bloatware. The news may have died down over the years, but the bloatware didn't actually go away. In fact, most Android phones on Verizon plans have DT Ignite running on them.

Historically, Ignite has been used by Verizon to install bloatware during initial setup of the device, as well as to preinstall removable apps such as Candy Crush. Verizon said this remains to be the case.

According to Verizon, Galaxy S7 owners will not be inconvenienced with random apps popping up on their device, unless the users decide to fully reset their smartphones.

"Customers who already have an S7 will not find new or random apps installed or pushed to their phone after the software update," Verizon says in a statement. Additionally, Verizon explained that the DT Ignite software is "completely removable and can be uninstalled."

To disable the DT Ignite software, users are required to open the Settings app, go to Applications, then select Application Manager. Once the list loads, click More, followed by Show system apps. A complete list of installed apps will appear on your device alphabetically. Scroll down and select DT Ignite, and click Disable.

Another concern, in relation to net neutrality, is that the apps downloaded through Ignite are zero-rated, which means they do not consume mobile data. This potentially could be used by companies to pay Verizon to put unwanted apps on devices without user consent. So far, though, Verizon's use of the Ignite app is to preload applications prior to first boot, but this could possibly change in the future.

Photo: Eric Hauser | Flickr

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