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Mobile app privacy back in the spotlight

05 Mar 2013 10:35 GMT Back
Mobile app privacy back in the spotlight
Person typing on mobile phone

Also in the news

Smaller mobile app developers are to get advice from The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on how to comply with data protection regulations.

As reported in Marketing Week, the ICO plans to run workshops for small app developers at London’s Silicon Roundabout (TechHub) and other similar development hubs to ensure their products comply with the Data Protection Act.

The ICO is also working with its European counterparts to draw up an official opinion on how mobile apps treat users’ personal information following a meeting of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party in Brussels, according to Marketing Week

The ICO is in regular contact with app store owners Google and Apple, which together account for 91% of smartphone operating systems. 

These two technology giants are taking steps to safeguard user data and lessen the likelihood of a raft of new rules from US lawmakers.

Apple has introduced “limited ad tracking and the ability for customers to manage their privacy settings for location, contacts and more,” Tom Neumayr, a spokesperson for Cupertin, California-based Apple, told Bloomberg

Google updated its developer program policy in 2012 to prohibit apps that disclose personal information without user consent while Facebook users can adjust their settings to decide what content to share publicly. 

Last month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined social networking site, Path Inc $800,000 for the unauthorised collection of user data. Path had collected information from children without the consent of their parents but has since closed its services to children under 13. 

The FTC is investigating a rising number of mobile apps for privacy violations, according to Bloomberg.  

Posted by

Smarayda Christoforou

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