California Attorney General: Mobile Apps Must Have Privacy Policies

Feb 23, 2012

According to The Register, California Attorney General Kamala Harris ruled that any program downloaded from Apple, Android, Amazon, Windows, HP, or Research In Motion Ltd. app stores should present a privacy policy that details what user information the software will have access to and how that data will be used. Apps that don't use personal data, however, need not present a policy.

Apps that fail to meet the new guidelines will be fined up to $5,000 per user. Users will soon receive new tools to report apps that breach privacy regulations, and a review will be held 6 months after the fact. This move comes after reports that only 5% of apps have privacy policies; popular titles have also been caught extracting user information like contact lists, location, age, gender, and even key taps.