FTC Provides Guidance to Mobile App Developers for Compliance with Privacy Regulations


On September 5, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") published a nonbinding guide directed at mobile application ("mobile app") developers, to inform developers on how to best comply with truth-in-advertising and basic privacy principles. This is the first guide published by the FTC specifically directed towards mobile app developers. The guidemakes clear that regardless of a mobile app developer's size or profitability, the FTC will hold developers to the same data privacy standards as all other companies that operate online. Mobile app developers, therefore, must comply with all applicable truth-in-advertising and data privacy regulations or risk enforcement actions by the FTC, pursuant to its power totake action against unfair and deceptive trade practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTCA").

The guide provides mobile app developers with a set of principles to guide their advertising and privacy policies. However, asnoted in the guide, there is "no one-size fits-all approach," and advertising and privacy policies should be tailored to thespecific mobile app depending on the purpose and use of the user's personal information.

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