Android Brightest Flashlight Free app has been secretly sending your location and device data to advertisers

Have you downloaded the Brightest Flashlight Free app for Android? If so you may have inadvertently handed over your device and location data to advertisers.

In a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission the app maker has admitted that it deceptively passed on user device information and location data to advertisers. While the privacy policy meant users did allow the company access to location and device data there was no permission for it to share that information with third parties.

Since its release in February the app has been downloaded between up to 100 million times.

"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 consumer protection bureau. "But this flashlight left them in the dark about how their information was going to be used."

Erik Geidl, who runs GoldenShores Technologies which makes the app, has been ordered to delete any personal information that the app has collected. He is also required to tell the FTC if he changes his employment over the next ten years.

This is the first time a case of this type has come to this. Hopefully it will stop this from happening in future. 



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