Android torch app has been secretly telling advertisers where you are

Android torch app found guilty of secretly sending data to advertisers
Where am I? Just ask the advertisers

An Android app called 'Brightest Flashlight' has admitted that it sneakily sent location and device ID data of its users to advertisers.

The Brightest Flashlight app has been downloaded between 50m and 100m times since February 2011.

The app makers have agreed to pay a settlement to the US's Federal Trade Commission after the app "left [consumers] in the dark about how their information was going to be used," according to Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Bright spark

The FTC says it's worse than just selling on your data - the makers of the app "deceptively failed to disclose" that it would be using users' locations for its own gain.

Even if app users chose the option to not share their information, the app shared it automatically - basically rendering the presentation of a privacy option completely pointless.

As of the settlement, the app maker Goldenshore is required to delete any and all personal information it has gathered so far, to make their privacy policy clear and detailed, as well as needing you, the user, to expressly consent to your whereabouts being shared.

Every time Goldenshore fails to do any of the above, it will be fined up to $16,000 (around £10,000 or AU$17,660) a pop.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.