U.S. Federal Trade Commission Sanctions Maker of an Extremely Popular Flashlight App for Android

Fast Company reports that an Android app called "Brightest Flashlight Free" has been found to collect location information and device identifiers for the phones on which the app is running, even if the user opted out of collection of that information. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleges in their press release that the privacy policy of the company that owns this app "deceptively failed to disclose that the app transmitted users' precise location and unique device identifier {UDID} to third parties, including advertising networks."

Brightest Flashlight Free has been installed between 50 and 100 million times, and has over 1 million reviews in the app stores in which it is listed.

These sorts of deceptive practices are much more difficult to perpetrate in app stores where the acceptance process involves rigorous app testing and clear limitations on the behavior of apps.

Many Android users chafe at the restrictions imposed on application features by Apple as the gatekeeper to the iOS App Store. But, we should keep in mind that this sort of deception would be extremely difficult to get through Apple's app submission and approval processes.

Via Daring Fireball