FTC Emphasizes Privacy Protections, Truth in Advertising in Business Guide for Mobile App Developers

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On September 5, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a new Business Guide for mobile application developers, Marketing Your Mobile App: Get it Right from the Start. This guide is intended to help mobile app developers observe truth-in-advertising and basic privacy principles. It has broader application, as this plain-English guide summarizes fundamental advertising, marketing and privacy principles applicable to all formats and media.

This FTC guide highlights several common privacy themes that are now emerging across a spectrum of FTC initiatives, thus demonstrating the Commission’s increasing attention and likely direction in this area. The guide reiterates the principles of the FTC’s Privacy Report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers (March 2012). That Privacy Report established a Privacy Framework of three basic principles: Privacy By Design, Simplified Consumer Choices, and Transparency, applicable to consumer data collected both online and offline. While the new guide applies these principles in the mobile app development context, its guidance applies to all advertisers and collectors of consumer data. In the new guide, the FTC advises mobile app developers (and others) to...

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