US Government Agency Pushes For New Guidelines to Protect Privacy of Mobile App Users
The US government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration issued its first draft of what it hopes to be the mobile apps code of conduct -- an effort to increase transparency and better protect consumers and their privacy.
The draft, if made final, states that publishers of mobile applications must provide consumers with 'short form' notices informing them of when and how their data is being used.
The NTIA took feedback from many privacy groups as well as consumer advocate agencies to help make mobile apps more transparent. The idea was inspired by President Obama's need to enact an online privacy "bill of rights"
(a) the collection of types of data listed in SectionII.A whether or not consumers know that it is being collected;
(c) the sharing of user-specific data, if any, with third-parties listed in Section II.B as defined below; and
(d) the identity of the entity providing the app.
The NTIA issued the following statement when the draft was released:
NTIA is pleased that today a diverse group of stakeholders reached a seminal milestone in the efforts to enhance consumer privacy on mobile devices. We encourage all the companies that participated in the discussion to move forward to test the code with their consumers.
The draft defines 'data' as anything including biometrics, browser history, phone or text log, contacts, financial info, health, medical, or therapy info, location, and user files. Hopefully the NTIA can push this into the next phase and implement more consumer feedback regarding the draft.
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