Skip to main content

FTC Releases Mobile App Guidelines

Administration officials, industry stakeholders and public
interest groups continue to work on mobile app privacy guidelines, but in the
meantime, the Federal Trade Commission Wednesday published a guide to help
developers comply with current truth in advertising requirements and
"basic privacy principles."

Your Mobile App:  Get It Right from the Start,"
which was endorsed
Wednesday by CTIA: The Wireless Association, suggested the following rules of
the road that all app developers should "consider."

They are: "tell the truth about what your app can do;
build privacy considerations in from the start; offer choices that are easy to
find and easy to use; honor your privacy promises; protect kids' privacy;
collect sensitive information only with consent; and keep user data secure."

CTIA endorsed the guidelines, but suggested they were a case
of already there/doing that. "These guidelines are based on the FTC's
well-established Fair Information Practices, which have also been covered for
several years in CTIA's Wireless Consumer Code and Location Based Service
Guidelines," the group said. "Whether it's around consumers' privacy,
including kids and COPPA to disclosing information clearly and conspicuously,
CTIA has been and will continue to be strong advocates and supporters of these

The National Telecommunications and Information
Administration is hosting a series of stakeholder meetings to come up with ways
to bake such protections into a privacy Bill of Rights, with their initial
focus on mobile apps.