• Apple Agrees to Mobile App Privacy Policy



    The California Attorney General recently announced that it had reached an agreement with six companies, one of which is Apple, to mandate individual privacy policies for apps that collect personal information that will allow users to read policies before downloading an app. The other companies included Amazon and Google. In total, the six companies represent the “majority of the mobile apps market,” according to a statement by the California Attorney General. The companies that signed this agreement consisted of Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion.

    The statement claims that the companies have adopted “privacy principles” that will bring them in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act, which is a law that requires “mobile apps that collect personal information to have a privacy policy.” According to Attorney General Harris, the “agreement strengthens the privacy protections of California consumers and of millions of people around the globe who use mobile apps. “ He felt that by ensuring mobile app privacy policies, he is helping create transparency and giving mobile users more informed control over who has access to their personal information along with how that personal information is being used.

    As a result of this new agreement, app buyers will be able to look over privacy policies before purchasing any products. The developers who don’t comply with the privacy policies could be prosecuted under California law. Apple and the other companies have already agreed to educate developers about the new policies and will be working to offer users tools to report non-compliant apps.

    It isn’t a surprise to see lawmakers and regulators stepping in to ensure proper privacy protection with the rapid rise of the app-driven ecosystem. As of right now, Apple is currently counting up to its 25 billionth app download while having the number of applications in the App Store approaching 600,000. What brings this to the next level is the fact that these numbers reflect just Apple alone and don’t include the other five companies who have also signed the agreement.

    Source: Office of the Attorney General (Press Release)
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