Worst App List:
Brightest Flashlight Free, by GoldenShores Technologies, LLC
Offense: Location and device ID shared to advertisers without letting end users know.
Punishable by shaming and uninstalls.
Link full article via BGR.com | Worst App List
A popular flashlight Android app with an installed base of between 50 million and 100 million users has also been collecting personal data including location and device ID and sharing it with advertisers even for users who had opted out, the Federal Trade Commission found. GoldenShores Technologies, LLC, the developer behind the “Brightest Flashlight Free” app that currently enjoys a 4.8-star rating from over 1 million reviews, on Thursday settled a case with the FTC, Fast Company reports.
“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, FTC’s Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection said. “But this flashlight app left them in the dark about how their information was going to be used.”
According to the settlement, the developer will have to fully inform users when, how and why their location data is collected, and to obtain the their “affirmative express consent” when it comes to sharing that data. GoldenShores will also have to delete any personal information collected from consumers via the Brightest Flashlight app.