California Attorney General Kamala Harris has issued consumer privacy guidelines for mobile application developers, in a bid to protect the privacy of consumers using mobile devices.
The 22-page ‘Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem’ report comprises suggestions for app developers to offer consumers minimum levels privacy, such as using small icons or pop-ups to notify consumers regarding the usage of their information.
Harris said that currently, 85% of American adults own a cell phone and over half of them use their phones to access the Internet.
‘The mobile app marketplace is also booming with more than 1,600 new mobile apps being introduced every day. These apps allow us to do everything from streaming movies to hailing a cab to viewing our own X-ray and ultrasound images," added Harris.
"Along with the many wonderful capabilities these apps offer, we remain mindful that the mobile environment also poses uncharted privacy challenges."
Further, the report also urges app developers to consider privacy issues early from the initial stages of the development process by considering the amount of data required and its usage.
"We are now offering this set of privacy practice recommendations to assist app developers, and others, in considering privacy early in the development process," Harris said.
"We have arrived at these recommendations after consulting a broad spectrum of stakeholders: mobile carriers, device manufacturers, operating system developers, app developers, app platform providers, mobile ad networks, security and privacy professionals, technologists, academics, and privacy advocates."
Earlier, Harris had also sent several letters to firms that it was felt did not comply with a state law mandating all mobile apps reveal the personal information being collected by the app.