Popular Android Flashlight App Straight-Up Lied About Selling Data

Illustration for article titled Popular Android Flashlight App Straight-Up Lied About Selling Data

Were you one of the 100 million Android users that downloaded the Brightest Flashlight Free app? Did you conscientiously click "no" when asked if you'd like to allow the app to track your location data? Well, too bad, suckers. Because not only has the FTC revealed that the popular, light-giving app was secretly selling data to third parties, but its "option" to refuse the data collection in the first place was one big, fat lie.


Upon opening the app, unsuspecting (and presumably unseeing) users would be prompted to either allow or deny local data tracking—data that would be used for strictly internal purposes, it assured. Internal here, of course, meaning the app and anyone else willing to cough up money for that sweet location data. While this in itself is still a major invasion of privacy, the worst part is that even if you decided against the data tracking, Brightest Flashlight Free was going to sell your data whether you liked it or not.

And this isn't a new development—the app's been collecting and selling Android user data since 2011. Plus, it's still available in the Google Play store, but if you're dead-set on downloading this particular flashlight app for whatever reason (danger is exciting), you hopefully needn't worry. The FTC has ordered the app's distributer, Goldshores Technologies, to delete all the personal information it's collected over the years. Of course, any companies that have purchased that data will still be privy to it. So maybe stick to candles next time. [Washington Post]

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I am amazed that nobody (besides me, apparently) wondered what in Hades a flashlight app needed tracking data for? The only thing my flashlight app needed was camera hardware, to turn on the flash.

There are many apps I wanted to try but refuse to give rights to. Read those lists!