Attorney General Issues Privacy Warning to App Developers

California’s attorney general this week began notifying about 100 mobile application developers and companies that they have 30 days to comply with the state’s privacy law.

Within that time, they must conspicuously post an easy-to-understand privacy policy within their apps that states which personally identifiable information is being collected from consumers and how that information will be used.

And the kicker is consumers must be given an opportunity to opt-in to this policy before downloading the app – not after. The state law applies to app developers worldwide, and companies can face fines of up to $2,500 each time a non-compliant app is downloaded by a California resident.

Letters were sent first to makers of the most popular apps available on mobile platforms. It was fueled by concerns over the sneakiness of apps, such as the iOS social networking app Path. Attorney General Kamala D. Harris reached an agreement on the policy in February with Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, Amazon and HP. Facebook joined the agreement in June.

A spokeswoman for Harris’s office says the issue is not with these companies or their mobile platforms, but with developers who create apps for them.

“We have worked hard to ensure that app developers are aware of their legal obligations to respect the privacy of Californians, but it is critical that we take all necessary steps to enforce California’s privacy laws,” Harris says.

Related Links

Comments

  1. BY RobS says:

    Gotta love this part: “they must conspicuously post an easy-to-understand privacy policy within their apps … consumers must be given an opportunity to opt-in to this policy before downloading the app – not after.”

    so the app that people download must tell them about the information before they download the app…I can only assume that there must be the same information on the “packaging” but it just sounds funny.
    however, it kinda reminds me of the tricks of some shadier software off-the-shelf that, once you open the package, contained terms of agreement (not visible from the outside package) something like “by opening this package, you automatically agree to the terms enclosed for this software.”

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>