FTC bans developer from selling ‘stalking’ apps

This is the first time the agency has banned 'stalking' apps

The Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. has banned developer Retina-X Studios from selling its apps due to security concerns.

Retina-X Studios has created a number of apps that are designed to monitor children and employees that can expose phones to security vulnerabilities. However, the developer can refute the ban by proving that the apps will only be used for appropriate reasons.

The director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, has said this is the first time that the agency has made a move against “stalking” apps.

Smith said that although there could be legitimate reasons to track a phone, Retina-X Studio’s app is “designed to run surreptitiously in the background and are uniquely suited to illegal and dangerous uses.”

This decision will impact the developer’s app, ‘MobileSpy,’ which is designed to monitor employees’ and kids’ devices. It will also impact ‘PhoneSheriff’ and ‘TeenSheild,’ which were created to keep an eye on kids’ phones.

The developer has sold 15,000 subscriptions for its monitoring apps.

According to the FTC, Retina-X’s apps bypassed iOS and Android security restrictions and were able to collect sensitive data.

Image credit: FTC

Source: FTC Via: Endgadget