EU regulators warn of mobile app privacy concerns

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party instructed app developers to be more transparent about the collection and use of personal data

Mobile apps are under fire yet again, this time from privacy regulators across the pond, who expressed concern over the personal data these apps are collecting from users.

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, which comprises 27 European Union data protection authorities, warned in a joint opinion that consumers are not always aware that some apps are accessing and storing personal information such as names, email addresses and geolocation information.

“Individuals must be in control of their own personal data,” the group said in a statement. “Therefore apps must provide sufficient information about what data they are processing before it takes place in order to obtain meaningful consent.”

The Article 29 group also issued guidelines in which it instructed app developers and app stores to take additional steps to safeguard privacy, such as asking permission before collecting user data, removing personal data from their servers if a user uninstalls an app and setting expiration dates for apps that have not been used for a prolonged period of time.

In January, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs recommended amending the EU’s privacy rules to allow Internet users to find out what data companies have collected from them, among other changes. Companies that did not comply with the regulations could face fines of up to 2 percent of their yearly global sales under the proposed amendments.

Read more at Bloomberg.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of privacy issues, see:

Prepare for the coming of the privacy police

Google under fire for app store privacy policy

Obama signs executive order on cybersecurity

Technology: GCs must strengthen their relationships with chief information security officers

Technology: 4 practical tips for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity

Litigation: Practical and legal considerations for online privacy policies

Alanna Byrne

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