California Attorney General issues mobile privacy recommendations report

Jan 10, 2013
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California Attorney General Kamala Harris has issued Privacy on the Go, a report on mobile privacy recommendations aimed at developers and mobile-related companies, such as carriers. The guidelines are another step in the state's push on digital privacy, and can be downloaded as a PDF from the California Attorney General's website. These guidelines are the first of its kind in the United States.

The information in the report is largely common sense recommendations that one would assume do not need pointed out. The information is tailored towards those in specific areas where mobile privacy is relevant, such as ad networks, which are advised to, for example, avoid altering a handset's browser settings. Developers are advised to avoid pulling personal information outside of the scope of their apps, among other things.

California is particularly strict when it comes to privacy. On October 30, it surfaced that California had warned multiple companies, including Delta Airlines, that changes were needed to their apps due to inaccessible privacy policies. About a month later, Delta was sued by the state for failing to specify the personal data collected by its app and the way it uses the information. This is due to the state's Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires services to provide easily-accessible privacy policies that explicity detail certain things, such as how it uses collected data.

In the report, AG Harris states: "We are now offering this set of privacy practice recommendations to assist app developers, and others, in considering privacy early in the development process. We have arrived at these recommendations after consulting a broad spectrum of stakeholders: mobile carriers, device manufacturers, operating system developers, app developers, app platform providers, mobile ad networks, security and privacy professionals, technologists, academics, and privacy advocates.

[via California Attorney General]


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