Tags: android | flashlight | app

Android Flashlight App Illegally Sent Users' Data to Third Parties: FTC

Friday, 06 Dec 2013 03:35 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The company that created a free Android flashlight app that’s in use by 50 million to 100 million people collected and shared data from those users with advertisers, even though some had opted out and the privacy policy didn’t disclose that, the FTC alleged.

The app Brightest Flashlight is made by Goldenshores Technologies, which settled Thursday with the Federal Trade Commission on charges the company deceived users.

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The app’s privacy policy said that information would be gathered by the company, but did not disclose that it would share data like location and device information with advertisers.

“The FTC’s complaint alleges that the company’s privacy policy deceptively failed to disclose that the app transmitted users’ precise location and unique device identifier to third parties, including advertising networks,” an FTC statement said. “In addition, the complaint alleges that the company deceived consumers by presenting them with an option to not share their information, even though it was shared automatically rendering the option meaningless.”

The agreed-upon settlement said the company won’t misrepresent how data is collected and shared, and also how much control consumers have over the way their data is used, the FTC release said. Goldenshores also must delete any personal information collected from consumers.

“When consumers are given a real, informed choice, they can decide for themselves whether the benefit of a service is worth the information they must share to use it,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the release. “But this flashlight app left them in the dark about how their information was going to be used."

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