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Brightest Flashlight app leaked locations of 50 million users

The location data on over 50 million people was leaked through an Android app, with no government fines or intervention.

Published Tue, Apr 15 2014 4:33 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:17 PM CST

I was one of those 50 million users who installed "Brightest Flashlight" onto my Android smartphones, but location data from each user - which is a number that climbs over 50 million - was transmitting users' real-time locations to ad networks and other third parties.

Brightest Flashlight app leaked locations of 50 million users |

The Federal Trade Commission in December last year exposed Brightest Flashlight's wrong doings, announcing a proposed settlement with GoldenShores Technologies, the maker behind the app. GoldenShores Technology is actually a one-man operation based out of Idaho. The FTC explained how the app deceiving tactics in its privacy policy and user license agreement.

Last Wednesday, the FTC confirmed that GoldenShores' owner, Erik Geidl, are not to collect users' geolocation data without clearly outlining how and why they're doing it, and they have to confirm who is receiving the location data. Geidl is forced to inform the FTC about any new businesses he decides to start in the next ten years, and just a few days left to delete all of the data he had collected. The problem here is, that the FTC does not even touch down on the money that Geidl made selling 50 million users' geolocation data. There would have to be a very large sum of money there, but for now it seems like the FTC gave him a simple slap on the wrist.


Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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