1. Latest News
  2. Submit Press Release
  1. PR Home
  2. Latest News
  3. Feeds
  4. Alerts
  5. Submit Free Press Release
  6. Journalist Account
  7. PRNewswire Distribution
CT Better Business Bureau Logo

Better Business Bureau Warns Smart Phone Apps May Share Your Information

Smart phone app developers may be collecting and sharing your and your children’s personal information.


PRLog (Press Release) - Dec. 26, 2013 - HARTFORD, Conn. -- Is Your Child’s Information Being Sold to Third Parties Too?

Smart phone apps can make life easier, putting dozens of useful tools in the palm of your hand, however, Better Business Bureau  is warning consumers to make sure the apps they download don’t take more information than they need to do the job.

In a recent settlement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency found that a flashlight app’s privacy policy had been deceiving users into sharing their geographic location and device information with advertising networks and other third parties.  “Brightest Flashlight Free," developed by Goldenshores Technologies, LLC, is one of the most popular apps on Android mobile devices and has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

However, according to the FTC, the company's privacy policy told consumers that any information collected by the app would be used by the company, and listed some categories of information that it might collect, including geographic location. The privacy policy failed, however, to mention that this private information would be released to third parties.  The complaint also involved the company collecting information as soon as users opened the app, even before accepting or refusing the terms of the privacy policy.

Goldenshores Technologies has agreed to settle the FTC charges.  The settlement goes on to prohibit the company from misrepresenting how users' information is collected and shared and how much control users have over the way the information is shared.  It also requires defendants to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before collecting, using and sharing information.

Children’s apps can also be problematic.  Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission, released a study called “Mobile Apps for Kids – Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade,” that found that nearly 60 per cent of mobile apps its researchers examined “…failed to provide any information about the data collected through the app, let alone the type of data collected, the purpose of the collection and who would obtain access to the data.”

It’s not always easy to tell if an app is going to collect your information or how it will use it.  BBB is urging smart phone users to:

Research companies and apps before downloading, including industry publications and user reviews

Read the full privacy policy (and, on Android phones, the “Permissions” screen)

Opt out of location sharing when prompted

Periodically check all privacy settings on your smart phone and keep them set as high as you can without altering the functions of your apps (some apps, like maps and compasses, need geo-location information in order to work properly)

Update your apps when a new version comes out (your phone should alert you); often app updates fix “bugs” from earlier versions

Delete apps you no longer use from your phone

For information on apps for children, check out BBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit.

For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.

Media Contact
Howard Schwartz


--- End ---

Click to Share

Contact Email:
***@ct.bbb.org Email Verified
Source:Connecticut Better Business Bureau
City/Town:Hartford - Connecticut - United States
Industry:Computers, Consumer
Tags:smart phone, app, id theft, iphone, android
Disclaimer:   Issuers of the press releases are solely responsible for the content of their press releases. PRLog can't be held liable for the content posted by others.   Report Abuse

Latest Press Releases By “


Trending News...

  1. SiteMap
  2. Privacy Policy
  3. Terms of Service
  4. Copyright Notice
  5. About
  6. Advertise
Like PRLog?
Click to Share