FTC Urges Apple, Google & Others To Improve Mobile Privacy Disclosures

The Federal Trade Commission shared a report on Friday, which urged tech companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), BlackBerry, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and application developers to improve their mobile privacy disclosures.

FTC Urges Apple, Google & Others To Improve Mobile Privacy Disclosures

In the report, they gave recommendations on how these companies can improve their privacy disclosures to better inform consumers who use such services. Their recommendations include updating the online child privacy law, where it would mandate parental consent for kids under thirteen years of age.

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Recently, Path, a popular social networking application, made an agreement to compensate $800,000 to the FTC over the privacy policy issue from last year. They were saving the user’s contact data from address books without the user’s permission.

The TC report further explained to all platform site owners that it’s important to provide timely disclosures to consumers to get their consent prior to letting the apps access sensitive content. The report also reminded app developers to take similar measures by creating a privacy policy and make it accessible through the application store.

It was also recommended that developers create a dashboard inside their operating systems, so users can view how that data is utilized by certain apps.

One of the most important recommendations  the FTC offered  to tech companies in their report was that they could design little icons to make it easier to consumer to control what’s shared and what’s not. They said, “TC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report.  Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment.  Moving forward, as the mobile landscape evolves, the FTC will continue to closely monitor developments in this space and consider additional ways it can help businesses effectively provide privacy information to consumers.”

The new report from the FTC are basically just guidelines for tech companies and app developers to follow.