Report Reveals that the Majority of Apps on Market Ignore Privacy Concerns

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that apps on the market overall are not providing users with even basic privacy protections.

The report focused on research conducted by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network, which is a coalition of privacy officials from 19 countries, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and determined that 60% of the 1211 different apps reviewed raised privacy concerns, as they did not disclose how they used personal information, they required that the user give up significant personal data in order to download the app, and their privacy policies were posted in font too small to be read on a smartphone screen.   In addition, they found that 30% of the apps provided no privacy information whatsoever, and 31% requested access to person data without advising users whether or not the personal data was necessary for the app to function. Just short of half of the apps had privacy policies that were not smartphone-friendly in terms of their readability.

If you are a developer with an app you have released on the market and you fall into the category of developers who are ignoring privacy concerns and want to change your ways, adopting a few practices would obviously address this organization’s concerns: start disclosing how you use personal information, refrain from requiring the disclosure or consent to use of personal data before a user can download your app; and make your privacy policy readable on mobile devices.  In addition, you may want to consult the digital guide published by California’s Office of Privacy Protection for additional recommendations on best privacy practices.


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