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Study: More Apps Are Including Privacy Policies

More than eight out of 10 free apps from the iOS (Apple) App
Store come with a privacy policy -- either within the app or accessible through
the store -- and more than 6 out of 10 paid apps do, too.

That is according to a
released by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) Wednesday, July 11, in
advance of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(NTIA)-hosted stakeholder meeting in Washington on July 12 on enforcing an
Obama Administration-backed privacy Bill of Rights. It is the first in a series
of meetings, with Thursday's focusing on apps and mobile privacy.

Researchers picked 25 free apps and 25 paid apps based on the top apps of all
time list from Apple released March 3, 2012. An app was credited as having a
privacy policy if it was within the app itself but also if it was at the
listing page in the app store.

According to the study, the percentage of free apps with privacy policies
doubled from 40% in a December 2011 study to 84% as of June on the iOS App
Store platform, and paid apps with privacy policies were up slightly from 60%
to 64%.

According to FPF, "almost all" leading apps that collect location
information include privacy policies.

Once an app includes a privacy policy, their developers become accountable to
the Federal Trade Commission if they violate those privacy promises. One of the
key issues for government and industry is enforcing privacy protections on
companies that do not make any promises and thus are not subject to FTC
lawsuits for deceptive practices.