FTC issues privacy guidance to app makers

Guidelines will hopefully help provide some clarity to consumers worried about their personal information

There are a lot of things that know your personal information these days, especially if you’re a smartphone user with a ton of apps. It’s hard to keep track of what your data is being used for. According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, this is something consumers are pretty worried about. Of those surveyed, 54 percent had decided not to download an app because of the amount of personal information it would collect. What’s more, 30 percent had uninstalled a previously downloaded app when they started to worry about the personal data it was amassing.

Those users will be glad to hear that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is trying to gently push app makers to create some clarity with the set of guidelines it released on Wednesday. The guidelines include nine provisions the agency wants app makers to begin doing to help promote truthful advertising and privacy:

1. Tell the truth about what your app can do.

2. Disclose key information clearly and conspicuously.

3. Build privacy considerations in from the start.

4. Be transparent about your data practices.

5. Offer choices that are easy to find and easy to use.

6. Honor your privacy promises.

7. Protect kids’ privacy.

8. Collect sensitive information only with consent.

9. Keep user data secure.

Read more about the FTC guidelines and the Pew survey at Talking Points Memo and the New York Times.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of data privacy, check out the stories below:

Regulatory: The risks of neglecting privacy

Amazon hires Nuala O’Connor as its first privacy counsel

Labor: Legislation seeks to ban employer use of employee social media passwords

FTC approves $22.5 million fine in Google privacy case

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