According to the Federal Trade Commission – FTC, app developers will pay $2 million for deceptive advertising. Creators of Luminosity, an app which claims that it will train the user’s brain and will help them improve their cognitive performance, have settle with the FTC to pay $2 milion.
FTC released a statement in which it says that Lumos Labs, creators of Luminosity app, have deceived users by claiming without any kind of scientific provable evidence that the games in their app will reduce cognitive impairment and delay associated with age, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The app was also promising that users will perform better in school and at work.
Besides having to pay $2 million the developers have also agreed to notify every auto-renewal subscriber from the beginning of 2009 to the end of 2014 of the settlement with FTC and offer them ways to cancel the subscription.
Another strategy used by Lumos Labs to misled users was by using so-called users testimonials which were actually obtained by promising reviewers expensive prizes such as lifetime subscription to the app and even free iPads.
Since they released the app in 2009 its developers advertised it by saying that their games were designed in collaboration with scientists with the aim of challenging core cognitive abilities. However, According to Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at FTC, their investigation found that this was not true and luminosity was not backed up by any science.
On the other side, Lumos Labs issued a statement on January 5, saying that this settlement was simply the result of a problem of marketing language. The company says that their products are at the highest quality and their continuous investment in research provides value to the users of their apps.
According to the company, Luminosity’s developers have worked in the Human Cognition Project initiative, contributing to the scientific community with their expertise.
Lumos Labs goes further, pointing to their most recent clinical test which has been peer-reviewed and published in PLOS One journal, which is a trial of their cognitive training program. The study shows that trial participants who used Luminosity for ten weeks improve their cognition.
The company declares that they will continue to deliver its platform of cognitive training based on research to the millions of people who already use it and all those who are going to use it in the future.
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