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F.T.C.: Android App Developer Deceived Users Over Data Collection and Sharing
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msg:4628359
 3:26 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

The creator of one of the most popular apps for Android mobile devices has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the free app, which allows a device to be used as a flashlight, deceived consumers about how their geolocation information would be shared with advertising networks and other third parties.

Goldenshores Technologies, LLC, managed by Erik M. Geidl, is the company behind the “Brightest Flashlight Free” app, which has been downloaded tens of millions of times by users of the Android operating system. 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. 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.

“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,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But this flashlight app left them in the dark about how their information was going to be used.”

In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Goldenshores’ privacy policy told consumers that any information collected by the Brightest Flashlight app would be used by the company, and listed some categories of information that it might collect. The policy, however, did not mention that the information would also be sent to third parties, such as advertising networks.F.T.C.: Android App Developer Deceived Users Over Data Collection and Sharing [ftc.gov]

 

bill




msg:4628893
 4:23 am on Dec 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had MalwareBytes inform me that a camera app on one of my devices was doing something similar. Sometimes it's hard to know what permissions you should allow an app to access. Often we simply agree to the terms without really looking at what is potentially being sacrificed.

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