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Apple, Microsoft, Facebook team up on app privacy initiative

ACT 4 Apps aims to educate app developers in privacy best practices, commission industry studies and facilitate communication with Washington officials

Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. have come under fire in the past for alleged privacy violations. But now the two are among a host of major companies partnering to teach app developers about privacy.

The newly launched initiative, ACT 4 Apps, will be administered by the Association for Competitive Technology, a trade association for app developers.

It plans to focus on several major goals in 2013, including:

  • Conducting workshops to train app developers in privacy best practices
  • Helping developers design privacy-enhancing tools
  • Facilitating communication between app developers and White House officials, Congress and federal agencies
  • Supporting industry studies and market analyses to boost public understanding of the app industry

Privacy concerns made headlines in December 2012, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unveiled updates to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, including measures that prevent apps and social networks from collecting certain types of personal data from children younger than 13. A previous FTC report concluded that many kids’ mobile apps gathered data from users and sent it to app developers, analytics companies and advertisers.

Other corporate sponsors of the ACT 4 Apps initiative include Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., Blackberry and eBay Inc.

Read more from Politico.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of privacy concerns, see:

EU proposes stricter privacy rules for online user data

Judge OKs Facebook’s revised privacy settlement

More than half of in-house counsel say data security is their top legal concern

Technology: The right (and wrong) way to monitor your employees on social media

Cheat Sheet: What in-house counsel need to know about bring-your-own device policies


Alanna Byrne

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