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

Looking For The Next iPod/Echo

By: Rob Enderle    4/29/2016

The Amazon Echo, not the Apple Watch, became the last iPod-like product largely because of a far more accessible price point, a more compelling name, …

Read More

Apple Needs Reset, Not Elon Musk

By: Doug Mohney    4/29/2016

Apple's 13 percent sales decline and subsequent stock price drop this week has lead to the usual crazy talk about how to "fix" the company. Vivek Wadh…

Read More

Is the Apple Bubble Finally Bursting?

By: Andrew Bindelglass    4/28/2016

Over the past 13 years, Apple has been one of the most successful companies in the world of tech, posting sales growths in 51 straight quarters. That …

Read More

Shared-Space Providers (Airbnb) Poised to Beat Ride-Sharers (Uber)

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

Travel may be starting to make a bit of a comeback, as a new report suggests that shared-space providers like Airbnb and WeWork are on the rise.

Read More

Facebook Wants More Sharing, Building New Camera App to Drive It

By: Steve Anderson    4/28/2016

One of the great downsides to having a lot of content in any one place is that, after a while, it starts looking downright pointless to add more.

Read More