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Developer who sold data on millions of users gets away with a slap on the wrist
Big fines? Forced removal from the Google Play Store? No and no. The FTC in its wisdom has basically issued a ruling which tells the author to stop being a naughty boy and to cease selling the data. In what could be viewed as a fairly toothless judgement, the FTC has ordered GoldenShores Technologies, LLC and its founder Erik M. Geidl to stop misrepresenting what the company does with the collected geolocation data. It must also “clearly and prominently” inform users about how the app collects such data.
GoldenShores also needs to delete all the geolocation and device specific data that it has collected.
If Erik M. Geidl wants to try a quick bait-and-switch with the FTC then he can’t as the commission is also demanding that for the next five years all current and future directors and employees get a copy of the FTC’s judgement and the FTC needs to be told about any changes to GoldenShores Technologies, LLC including it being sold or closed down.
Unfortunately we don’t live in a fairy tale world and the moral of this little story isn’t that the bad guy always gets his comeuppance, but rather than it is OK to make money illegally as long as you stop once you have been caught.