FTC Releases Mobile Privacy Report After Public Letter from Consumer Watchdog

By Jacqueline Lee February 01, 2013

Advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog has released a letter that it sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking Congress to enact “Do Not Track” (DNT) legislation. The proposed legislation would give consumers protection regarding data collected about their online behaviors and how that data was transferred between organizations.

On the same day of the letter’s release, the FTC issued a staff report about online privacy. Specifically, the report focuses on protecting mobile privacy by getting information to consumers about when data is collected on mobile platforms.

The FTC report issued a number of recommendations for mobile platforms, app developers, advertisers and the scholarly community. For mobile platforms, the FTC recommended just-in-time disclosure of data collection, dashboards showing how apps collect data, an icon showing the transmission of consumer data and a set of developer best practices.

For developers, the FTC recommended participation in trade organizations or self-regulatory programs that would set standards regarding short-form privacy disclosures. When integrating third-party code into apps, developers should know how the code facilitates information collection and what information the third party is obtaining.

Advertisers and other third parties collecting information should work with mobile platforms to implement a DNT procedure. The scholarly community, says the FTC, should work to educate developers about privacy issues.

The recommendations from the FTC are accompanied by a business guide entitled Mobile App Developers: Start with Security. However, the FTC stopped short of endorsing DNT laws to protect consumers.

In the letter to the FTC, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director, John M. Simpson, pointed to a bill introduced last year by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) that would create DNT laws. According to Consumer Watchdog, Rockefeller intends to reintroduce the bill sometime this year.

Simpson says that an FTC endorsement of the bill would at least get the advertising industry back to the negotiating table.

“We call on you and the entire Commission to endorse the urgent need for Do Not Track legislation,” Simpson stated. “If nothing else, the threat of legislation could be the stick that prompts a recalcitrant advertising industry to stop its foot dragging and re-engage in real negotiations.”




Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

When Gaming Isn't a Game: 3 Best Practices to Protect Your Hosting Service Against DDoS Attacks

By: Joe Eskew    1/28/2015

The unprecedented number of security breaches, hacks and DDoS attacks on gaming communities, software manufacturers and even Hollywood studios grew to…

Read More

No Hackers Took Down Facebook; Hour's Outage Mostly Internal

By: Steve Anderson    1/28/2015

Facebook released a statement not long after the outage had hit, revealing that the cause of the shutdown was not "...the result of a third-party atta…

Read More

Why You'll Never See An iPhone with a Sapphire Screen

By: Rob Enderle    1/28/2015

Sapphire isn't as hard and while manufactures Sapphire may be fault free, any chipping can create an artificial fault that will cause a phone screen t…

Read More

2015 In Cybersecurity: Sadly, Another Bumpy Year is Ahead

By: TMCnet Special Guest    1/27/2015

After a rough 2014 for cybercrime, it would be great to say, "Oh, that speed bump is behind us," or, "We built some magic widgets that will solve the …

Read More

Content Translation in the Mobile Era: 3 Lessons to Learn the Easy Way

By: TMCnet Special Guest    1/26/2015

The tech industry is working hard to destroy the virtual Tower of Babel. If you only speak English and Skype a Spanish speaker Microsoft will now tran…

Read More