FTC Announces Settlements against Marketers of Apps Claiming Utility in Early Melanoma Detection

“The Federal Trade Commission announced that the marketers of MelApp and Mole Detective have agreed to settlements that bar them from deceptively claiming their mobile apps can detect symptoms of melanoma, even in early stages.

“ ‘Truth-in-advertising laws apply in the mobile marketplace,’ Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a press release. ‘App developers and marketers must have scientific evidence to support any health or disease claims that they make for their apps.’

“The FTC is looking into charges against two additional marketers of Mole Detective who did not agree to the settlement, according to the release.

“FTC complaints reported that the apps instructed users to photograph a mole with their smartphone camera and input other information regarding the mole. The mole’s melanoma risk was then calculated as low, medium or high, according to the apps’ purports.”