Smartphone apps are fun and some are even useful, but, according to the Federal Trade Commission, they can’t cure acne.
Amazingly, 15,000 paying customers thought otherwise and coughed up real cash to download the programs “AcneApp” and “Acne Pwner” from iTunes and the Android Marketplace.
The settlements, announced Thursday, are the first cases the FTC has brought targeting health claims in mobile applications.
The programs’ developers have agreed to “stop making baseless claims” — specifically that red and blue lights emitted by a smartphone screen can cure acne — to settle FTC charges.
Fines of about $16,000 were also levied, which means the government let these hacks make a profit off their digital snake oil.