Saturday 7 December 2013

Flashlight App leaks the user data to third parties

A Flashlight App collects data on the location and the equipment identification number and forwards them for promotional purposes, without the user being informed. A U.S. regulatory authority has established this, and demands that all data collected must be deleted. The free Flashlight App by GoldenShores Technologies has collected data and disclosed to third parties.

The App is several million times have been installed, so that quite a lot of users are likely to be affected. The user can not prevent these data are collected and learns nothing from the fact that these are then passed on to third parties first. The collected data includes location data, as well as the device ID. These data were forwarded by the app, among other advertising networks. This has resulted in an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC commented that the users were only informed in the privacy policy on that site data collected and the device ID is queried. However, the users of the App were not informed that these data have been disclosed to third parties. The FTC also criticized that the App has already collected the relevant data before the user has confirmed the Privacy Policy.

This means that even if the user of the storage of the data contradicts, the company has received this information already and possibly passed already to third parties. In the App, there is indeed a setting that the app does not collect any user data.

But even if this is turned on, the App collects the data above just keep going. The FTC has asked the manufacturers to delete the data collected with the App immediately. In addition, the user must now be clearly informed about what happens to the collected data.

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