FTC Approves Final Order in Vulcun Deceptive App Installation Case

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After a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order resolving the Commission’s complaint against Vulcun alleging that the company unfairly replaced a popular web browser game with a program that installed applications on consumers’ mobile devices without their permission.

The settlement was first announced in February 2016. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Vulcun purchased a Google Chrome browser extension game used by more than 200,000 consumers, and replaced it with Vulcun’s own extension, which purported to offer users unbiased recommendations of popular Android applications, but actually installed apps directly on the Android devices of consumers, while bypassing the permissions process in the Android operating system.

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants will be required to tell consumers about the types of information a product or service will access and how it will be used, display any built-in permissions notice associated with installing a product or service, and get users express affirmative consent before the installation or material change of a product or service.

The settlement also prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting whether their products have been endorsed by a third party or been covered by the media, how consumers’ personal information is collected and used, the level of control consumers’ might have over the collection, use or sharing of their data, or the extent to which the defendants maintain the privacy or security of information collected from consumers.

The Commission vote to approve the final order and letters to commenters was 3-0.         

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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