Federal Privacy Stakeholder Meeting Addresses Mobile Application Transparency

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Recently, the multi-stakeholder process established in connection with the White House’s February 2012 privacy report met to discuss mobile application transparency, including a voluntary code of conduct for mobile application developers. The code covers mobile application short form notices intended to provide consumers enhanced transparency about data collection and sharing practices. Application developers that choose to adopt the voluntary code would employ short form notices that describe (i) the collection of types of certain data – including biometrics, browser history, phone or text log, financial information, location, and more – whether or not consumers know that it is being collected, (ii) a means of accessing a long form privacy policy, if any exists, (iii) the sharing of user-specific data, if any, with certain third parties – e.g. consumer data resellers, data analytics providers, ad networks, and government entities, and (iv) the identity of the entity providing the application. In addition to being voluntary, the code exempts common application collection and sharing activities for operational purposes.