Ossian Law P.C. IT Law Alert January 2, 2014

Flashlight App Doesn’t Illuminate Data Tracking

Mobile apps offer great benefit and convenience to users, but at what price? Even a free app may be used to track and sell the user’s personal data. Failing to properly disclose such information sharing to the user could result in regulatory action or even civil liability.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a proposed consent order with the Idaho-based app developer of the “Brightest Flashlight Free” Android app that had been downloaded tens of millions of times. The FTC’s complaint alleges that the app was used to collect and transmit users’ location and device identifier to third party advertising networks, without disclosing this practice in the privacy policy accompanying the app.

The proposed order requires the app developer to provide a “just-in-time” disclosure that fully informs users how, when and why their geo-location data is being collected and shared. Any personal information previously collected through the app must also be deleted under the terms of the proposed order. Review the FTC’s press release on the consent order here.

Ossian Law P.C. is poised to advise app developers, providers and users on the privacy and security of mobile apps.

Contact us at Ossian Law P.C. regarding social media law or any other information technology law question.

 © 2014 Ossian Law P.C.