Smart phone apps can make life easier, putting dozens of useful tools in the palm of your hand. But Better Business Bureau warns to make sure the apps you download don’t take more information than needed 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 urges smart phone users to:
- Research companies and apps before downloading, including industry publications and user reviews;
- Opt out of location sharing when prompted;
- Check privacy settings, periodically, 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.
Bottom line: Load only the apps you’ll use and fully understand the information each app collects and shares.