Earlier this week the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California announced an agreement with leading operators of app platforms to implement privacy principles in the app ecosystem. These principles would require mobile app privacy policies or statements to be presented to the consumer in a consistent way prior to the downloading of the app and would require app stores to create a complaints process.
The California agreement was overshadowed in the press by the White House’s announcement of a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and the release of its report entitled “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy,” which I previously blogged about. However, the California agreement could result in significant changes to the way in which privacy policies are presented in the app ecosystem and the ability of consumers to navigate those data privacy policies and complain about privacy practices of apps.
The agreement sets out five principles:
- Apps stores must have provide consumers with a means to report apps that do not comply with applicable terms of service and/or laws.
- Apps stores must develop and implement a process for responding to reported instances of non-compliance with applicable terms of service and/or laws.
- Within six months, the operators of apps platforms will reconvene to evaluate privacy in the mobile space, including the utility of education programs regarding mobile privacy.