Monday, 5 March 2012

California Attorney General's Office-Privacy Requirements-Privacy Policies-Privacy Policy

Apple and Other Mobile App Distributors Agree to New Privacy Policy Notification Standards

The California Attorney General's office today announced that Apple, Google, and other companies running mobile app marketplaces have agreed to implement new standards for notifying users of privacy policies associated with apps offered in their stores. The provisions will require that developers of apps that collect personal information include privacy policies with their app sthat can be viewed directly from the store before downloading the apps themselves.Attorney General Harris forged the agreement with six companies whose platforms comprise the majority of the mobile apps market: Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research In Motion. These platforms have agreed to privacy principles designed to bring the industry in line with a California law requiring mobile apps that collect personal information to have a privacy policy. The majority of mobile apps sold today do not contain a privacy policy.Links to privacy policies will be in consistent locations within the App Store and other marketplaces, offering users the ability to view the policies at a glance. Developers who do not comply with these requirements can be charged under California law, and Apple and the other companies signing on to the agreement have pledged to educate developers about privacy policy requirements and help them to meet the standards.Finally, the agreement requires that the companies provide simple methods for users to report apps that do not comply with privacy requirements, as well as systems for dealing with those reports.Following publicity about location-tracking and privacy on mobile devices last year, U.S. Senator Al Franken sent letters to Apple and Google specifically asking if they would be willing to require clear privacy policies for apps distributed through their stores.Apple's Bud Tribble had noted during a Senate hearing on mobile privacy that privacy policies from developers would not go far enough in protecting users' information, arguing that Apple's own efforts to provide visual indicators of information sharing such as an icon becoming visible when the user's location is being transmitted are more effective at policing privacy issues. read more..

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