FTC Report: Mobile Privacy Disclosures - Building Trust Through Transparency


Full text copy of the Federal Trade Commission staff report “Mobile Privacy Disclosures - Building Trust Through Transparency.” From the report:

“Mobile technology has come a long way in the last quarter century. In the 1980s, mobile cellular devices weighed over two pounds, were about the size of a brick, and cost close to $1,000. And they could be used for one thing: phone calls.

Fast forward to 2012: In the fourth quarter of 2012, consumers worldwide bought approximately 217 million smartphones, which weigh about four ounces and fit in the palm of the hand. Consumers derive enormous benefits from these devices, which are used to make audio and video phone calls, buy movie tickets, check traffic on the regular commute, browse a digital library while waiting for an appointment, and connect with friends for spontaneous get-togethers…

Based on more than a decade of work on mobile privacy issues and recent data obtained through panel discussions and comments, the Commission offers this staff report providing recommendations for best practices on mobile privacy disclosures. First, the report reviews the benefits and privacy risks of mobile technologies. Second, it discusses the FTC’s efforts to address mobile privacy, as well as its research on disclosure issues generally. It then summarizes general themes raised by panel participants. Finally, it sets forth recommendations for best practices to key commercial players involved in the mobile arena – platforms, app developers, third parties such as ad networks and analytics companies, and trade associations. The recommendations are intended to promote more effective privacy disclosures.”

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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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