FTC Investigating Mobile App Privacy Trends
Mobile app developers should be aware of a potential crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on violations of privacy laws. The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that the FTC is “investigating an increasing number of mobile applications that may violate users' privacy”
The article explains that, “Developers for smartphone and tablet apps use tools that track user's whereabouts and online habits, yet some of that data being bought and sold for advertising and other purposes may be a violation of privacy.”
Last month, the FTC released a report on how developers and app stores should protect consumers’ privacy. Some of the report’s top recommendations are for a more proactive stance by mobile operating systems such as Apple and Google, due to a sensitivity that, “more fines and tighter restrictions for consumer protection might boost the costs for small tech startups and stifle growth in the industry.”
The Journal writes, “The report recommended that companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon.com Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. (BB) should set more privacy standards for app developers, such as requiring users to be notified in real time whenever their personal information is accessed.”
The FTC’s full 36-page report may be read here.
What ways do you think developers and operating system providers should help balance the preservation of consumer privacy as part of an ongoing digital strategy?