Third Party Apps and the Dangers

by on 06/09/2010 in Scams & Hoaxes, Security, Unethical

Apps the “Now Term” for Applications. These apps are also known as third-party software and it’s a big money making racket and some are scams.

For example: Tap Fish is a “free” iPhone aquarium App available through iTunes: here

Florida Dad Says iPhone Charges Are Deceptive

VideoArticle

Tap Fish App

Apple has both a general Terms of Use and a Privacy Policy link for all of Apple’s websites, including iTunes via. http://www.apple.com/legal/terms/site.html and http://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/

While these policies safeguard a user’s experience on Apple’s websites, they have nothing to do with third-party sites or the software they produce. That would be like expecting Microsoft’s Terms and Privacy policies to include all Windows software developers’ applications and their websites.

The App itself has neither of these documents which is a bit concerning IMHO. Apple and iTunes should require from every APP developer both a Terms of Use and a Privacy Policy as well as full disclosure of accrued charges applicable from “game play.”

Downloading “free” games that have hidden charges built into their functionality should force the entry of a special code to “continue” (accept and apply added charges), should have a defined Terms of Use as well as a defined Privacy Policy safeguarding any and all PII collected directly or indirectly (third party “passage”).

This, in a way, reminds me of those CPA Leads horoscopes, IQ tests, etc. and ringtone quizzes.

The difference being that the mobile quiz / horoscopes scams offer in very fine print charges that shall apply where the iTunes Apps, such as Tap Fish do not.

Viewing the iTunes Tap Fish page, we see two references:

  1. BayView Labs Web Site
  2. Tap Fish Support

Both pointing to this site: gameviewstudios.com
gameviewstudios.com – whois

No Terms of Use – site OR game
No Privacy policy
Game support page via Facebook with controversial reviews.

Both the Facebook page and gameviewstudios.com reference: BayView Labs, LLC

bayviewlabs.com – whois
bayviewlabs.com/about.htm
referenced: zenentrepreneur.com/blog – whois

I visited that blog, read the Truth and Lies: Facebook, Offers, Scams, Farms and Fish post and found out the Tap Fish developer is/was connected to: offerpalmedia.com – scorecard

TechCrunch has a continuing article:
Scamville: the Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell and also
The ScamVille Lawsuit: Facebook, MySpace, Zynga and More Face Possible Class Action Suit

Why do mobile applications have no regard for user privacy, user safety, and user protection when their desktop rivals are expected to? Mobile devices are just that, another device – they’re all computerized though their specific OS may be different. I do not think they should be immune from consumer protection, including third-party “app developers”

Opinions?

BTW, I do not use Apple *anything* not a MAC, not an iPhone / iPad / iPod or the Windows version of iTunes (I installed it once, thought it was junk and deleted it – that’s another topic).

Guest post by Dave – aka g7w at mywot.com

4 Responses to “Third Party Apps and the Dangers”

  1. Andrew@BloggingGuide

    Jun 16th, 2010

    Scammers would just use about anything to be able to scam. And since mobile age – use of mobile to surf the internet, is fast approaching, it does not escape the deceiving acts of these scammers. I hope that this post would spread the awareness regarding the danger that some of these third-party applications bring.

  2. Masalsohbet

    Jun 20th, 2010

    Congratulations on your site was great, also perfect for sharing.

  3. Joanie

    Jun 23rd, 2010

    I don’t use facebook apps for just this reason, and the fact that I find them a big waste of time. :-)

    I just got a new Android phone (Evo), and I know there are lots of free and nearly free apps for it. Any idea how I can tell what’s safe to install and what’s not?

    • Frank Jovine

      Jun 23rd, 2010

      Joanie,

      I will hunt and blog about the safe EVO apps.