Apple, along with Google, Microsoft and others, sign new privacy policy agreement

Fri, Mar 2, 2012


Following the blown-out-of-proportion scandal involving Path and its habit of storing a user’s address book contact information on its servers, Apple along with other companies such as Google, Amazon, HP, RIM, and Microsoft has entered into an agreement to ensure increased privacy safeguards for mobile device users.

The announcement came courtesy of California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris who helped put the agreement together

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.

“This agreement strengthens the privacy protections of California consumers and of millions of people around the globe who use mobile apps,” Attorney General Harris continued. “By ensuring that mobile apps have privacy policies, we create more transparency and give mobile users more informed control over who accesses their personal information and how it is used.”

This agreement will allow consumers the opportunity to review an app’s privacy policy before they download the app rather than after, and will offer consumers a consistent location for an app’s privacy policy on the application-download screen. If developers do not comply with their stated privacy policies, they can be prosecuted under California’s Unfair Competition Law and/or False Advertising Law.

The press release notes that Harris will reconvene with the aforementioned six companies to gather their progress on this new initiative.

I suppose this will satiate all the privacy hounds out there, but what are the real odds that customers are actually going to pay attention to these privacy warnings?

via California DOJ


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