App Stores Now Require Privacy Policies
Clear back in 2012, Google, Apple, HP, Amazon and Microsoft all met with Attorney General Kamala Harris, representing the State of California and its California Online Privacy Protection Act and agreed to provide and present privacy policies for all apps offered in their respective stores. So says an article written by PCWorld.com and available here.
“There’s been a question,” Harris said, and “we have resolved that.” Harris added that developers should be “on notice” that the state was prepared to enforce the newly clarified law, effective immediately, against both developers and platform providers that fail to comply. Most people know that many of the companies responsible for online and mobile apps got their start in California. “We take a great deal of pride in the technology that was born in our backyard,” Harris said. “There’s no desire on any of our parts to slow down what’s potentially life-changing and world-changing technology.” But that doesn’t mean making app users choose between securing their privacy and accessing the industry’s innovative resources.
To be clear, privacy policies do not limit what apps can grab from smartphones and other mobile or online digital devices, which can include device ID numbers, email addresses, location, personal contacts, calendar entries, photographs, videos and more. It simply requires app developers to inform consumers about how they will use the information taken. Even though app users may not read the policies, at least now they will be able to read them. Although full resolution of the mobile privacy issue agreed upon will have to include buy-in from platform operators and app developers, consumer education and potentially regulation, in the four years since this initial meeting, much has changed to ensure the use of privacy policies from app developers.