FTC Makes Privacy Recommendations for App Creators

Feb 04, 2013

On February 1, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a staff report that made recommendations for players in the mobile marketplace, most notably a suggestion to include "Do Not TracK" options to users. The report makes separate suggestions for companies operating in different parts of the mobile spheres. For instance:

"The report recommends that mobile platforms should:

  • Provide just-in-time disclosures to consumers and obtain their affirmative express consent before allowing apps to access sensitive content like geolocation;
  • Consider providing just-in-time disclosures and obtaining affirmative express consent for other content that consumers would find sensitive in many contexts, such as contacts, photos, calendar entries, or the recording of audio or video content;
  • Consider developing a one-stop "dashboard" approach to allow consumers to review the types of content accessed by the apps they have downloaded...

App developers should:

  • Have a privacy policy and make sure it is easily accessible through the app stores;
  • Provide just-in-time disclosures and obtain affirmative express consent before collecting and sharing sensitive information (to the extent the platforms have not already provided such disclosures and obtained such consent)...

Advertising networks and other third parties should:

  • Communicate with app developers so that the developers can provide truthful disclosures to consumers; 
  • Work with platforms to ensure effective implementation of DNT for mobile."