Sadly, that’s exactly the reason why the team behind Android’s “Brightest Flashlight” app are being forced to delete any personal information collected from consumers — just one part of their settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC claimed the free app deceived consumers about how their geolocation information would be shared with advertising networks and other third parties.
Consumers also were presented with a false choice when they downloaded the app, according to the complaint. Upon first opening the app, they were shown the company’s End User License Agreement, which included information on data collection. At the bottom of the license agreement, consumers could click to “Accept” or “Refuse” the terms of the agreement. Even before a consumer had a chance to accept those terms, though, the application was already collecting and sending information to third parties — including location and the unique device identifier!
What does that truly mean for your online privacy? Well, smartphones make it easy for marketers to use your location data to create a detailed profile and serve you promotions for products in real time. So that free app you’re about to download? It may cost you plenty when it comes to your personal and sensitive information.