Electronic devices are great holiday gifts. Smart phones top the list of gifts being handed out, along with the software and apps needed to run them properly.
Smart phone apps can make life easier, putting dozens of useful tools in the palm of your hand. But BBB is warning consumers to make sure the apps they download don’t take more information than they need to do the job.
Goldenshores Technologies has agreed to settle the FTC charges. The settlement goes on to prohibit the company from misrepresenting how users’ information is collected and shared and how much control users have over the way the information is shared. It also requires defendants to get consumers’ affirmative express consent before collecting, using and sharing information.
It’s not always easy to tell if an app is going to collect your information or how it will use it. BBB is urging smart phone users to:
- Research companies and apps before downloading, including industry publications and user reviews;
- Opt out of location sharing when prompted;
- Periodically check all privacy settings on your smart phone and keep them set as high as you can without altering the functions of your apps (some apps, like maps and compasses, need geo-location information to work properly);
- Update your apps when a new version comes out (your phone should alert you); often app updates fix “bugs” from earlier versions;
- Delete apps you no longer use from your phone.
For information on apps for children, check out BBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit.