Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall, investigated how flashlight apps and other apps are spying on people and provided a 100-page report to the FBI.
Follow these steps on your computer or phone to see how it works:
-- Go to google.com/play
-- Search for flashlights
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-- Click on green button that says "See More"
-- Click on "Brightest Flashlight" by GoldenShores Technologies (under light bulb) or one of the other free apps
-- Scroll to the bottom (under additional information)
-- See that 50 million to 100 million people have downloaded this free app
-- Under Permissions click on "View details"
It will show that if you download the free app, the developer will have access to your location, phone, your photos and videos and can read, modify or delete the contents of your USB storage. You also give the developer permission to take pictures and videos with your phone, access your Wi-Fi connections, prevent your device from sleeping, view network connections, get full network access, install shortcuts, uninstall shortcuts -- and control the flashlight.
Even if they're deleted, these apps leave Trojans that continue spying. You may have to take your phone back for a factory reset.
Flashlight apps that come on a phone and apps that don't have Internet access are safe.