FTC Releases General Guidelines for Mobile Application Developers

[author: Kevin Khurana]

Months after the FTC released its final report titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations for Business and Policymakers,” (which we blogged about), it has followed up on one of its stated commitments regarding the mobile space, specifically online advertising, by releasing on September 5, 2012 guidelines for mobile application developers titled, “Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right From The Start.” The purpose of this guide is to “assist mobile application developers observe truth-in-advertising and basic privacy principles when marketing their apps.”

Specifically, the FTC lists the following guidelines that mobile application developers should consider when marketing their mobile applications:

  • Truthful Advertising:
    • Tell the Truth About What Your App Can Do
    • Disclose Key Information Clearly and Conspicuously
  • Privacy:
    • Build Privacy Considerations in From the Start
    • Be Transparent About Your Data Practices
    • Offer Choices that are Easy to Find and Easy to Use
    • Honor Your Privacy Promises
    • Protect Kids’ Privacy
    • Collect Sensitive Information Only with Consent
    • Keep user Data Secure

These guidelines appear to be only a start. We will continue to monitor this area as it is likely the FTC will have more to say on mobile privacy and advertising in the future.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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