California app privacy

Marc Sanchez Feb 23, 2012

It’s a big day for privacy. Shhhhhhh! App store proprietors Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion (RIM) all agreed to a new privacy deal  in California announced by State Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris. According to the New York Times: “The agreement will force developers to post conspicuous privacy policies detailing what personal information they plan to obtain and how they will  use it. It also compels app store providers like Apple and Google to offer ways for users to report apps that do not comply.” That’s a pretty quick response, considering the Federal Trade Commission issued a report just a week ago asking app makers to step up their privacy policies. The FTC is especially concerned with information about children, who have access to apps, being transmitted to app makers.

Again from the Times: “In a statement, Ms. Harris’s office said that only 5 percent of mobile apps offer a privacy policy, leaving smartphone owners in the dark about what developers, advertisers and analytic services do with their ‘location, contacts, identity, messages and photos.’” Harris will reconvene with the companies mentioned in six months to see whether they are in compliance.

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