The creator of the popular “Brightest Flashlight Free” Android app has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) over charges that the app deceived consumers regarding the collection of geolocation information that was shared with third parties.

The app, created by Goldenshores Technologies, LLC, (“Goldenshores”) turns a mobile device into a flashlight by activating the device’s light functions, including the camera flash. It has been downloaded by tens of millions of Android users.

In its complaint, the FTC alleged Goldenshore’s Privacy Policy, which was available before the consumer downloaded the app, deceptively failed to disclose that the app transmitted precise geolocation data and persistent device identifiers to third parties including advertising networks.

In addition to inadequate disclosure, the FTC alleged Goldenshores deceived users by presenting them with the illusory choice of whether to share device information collected by the app. Upon installation of the app, the user was presented with an End User License Agreement (“EULA”) with an “Accept” and “Refuse” button that the consumer must press before using the app. The EULA restated the Privacy Policy (which still failed to provide adequate disclosure). Notwithstanding the “Accept” or “Refuse” buttons, the app began collecting and using device data even before the user had indicated their acceptance. Therefore, according to the FTC, the app presented false or misleading representations as a user could not control whether the app collected and transmitted the device data.

The Consent Order prohibits Goldenshores from misrepresenting its data collection policies and further requires a just-in-time disclosure that informs users that the app collects, transmits, or allows the transmission of geolocation information and to identify the specific categories of third parties that receive such information. Goldenshores must obtain the user’s affirmative express consent before transmitting such information. The Consent Order also requires Goldenshores to delete all personal information collected from consumers using the app.

The Consent Order is currently open to public comment until Jan. 6 2014, after which the FTC will determine whether to enter into a final Consent Order.