Credit and financial management service Credit Karma has been ordered to beef up its security after a US watchdog found that its mobile app left users' sensitive personal information vulnerable.
After a settlement was reached in March, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now approved final orders against Credit Karma and cinema ticket sales outfit Fandango.
The FTC says that both firms disabled SSL certificate validation for their iOS and Android apps, which would have verified that communications were secure. This left the apps vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Credit Karma's actions left social security numbers, personal details and credit scores and credit report details such as account names and balances exposed to third parties. Among the data left vulnerable by Fandango were payment card details.
The FTC has ordered the firms to set up security programmes designed to address risks during the development of their apps and to undergo independent assessments every other year for the next 20 years. Fandango and Credit Karma are also prohibited from misrepresenting the level of privacy or security of their products and services.
Founded in 2007, Credit Karma provides free credit scores, reports and monitoring to Americans who, in exchange, see personalised offers from advertisers based on their credit profiles. Earlier this year it closed an $85 million round of funding, led by Google Capital.