FTC Urges Improvements in Mobile Privacy Disclosures
FTC hopes to build trust between app providers and mobile users through more transparent data practices.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a report urging mobile operating system and mobile application developers to improve privacy disclosures to consumers. The report, titled “Mobile Privacy Disclosures: Building Trust Through Transparency,” offers recommendations for providing users with more information about data practices.
Substantial amounts of user data can be accessed from mobile devices through downloaded apps, giving rise to privacy concerns. A Pew Research Center study cited in the report indicates that “57% of all app users have either uninstalled an app over concerns about having to share their personal information or declined to install an app in the first place for similar reasons.”
This latest report, which follows the FTC’s “Privacy Report” detailing best practices for businesses to protect consumers’ privacy, provides specific recommendations aimed at application developers, operating system providers, advertising networks, and other third parties. Some of the FTC’s recommendations include:
- Providing just-in-time disclosures to consumers and obtain their consent before allowing apps to access sensitive content.
- Developing a one-stop “dashboard” approach to let consumers review the types of content accessed by apps.
- Developing icons to display the transmission of user data.
- Promoting app developer best practices.
- Consider offering a Do Not Track (DNT) mechanism for smartphone users, which would allow consumers to choose to prevent tracking by ad networks or other third parties.
Xen project announces a privilege escalation problem for Qemu host systems
Attackers can compromise an Android phone just by sending a text message
PC vendor will pre-install Ubuntu on portables in India.
More embarrassment for Adobe's embattled multimedia tool
Mozilla’s script blocker add-on could be putting malware sites on the whitelist.
The Internet community officially banishes the notoriously unsafe Secure Sockets Layer protocol.
Popular desktop environment continues the Gnome 2 legacy – with new support for the Gnome 3 toolkit.
The Obama White House has issued a memorandum telling all US government agencies they must use HTTPS for all websites and web communication.
New program will dial up security for the Firefox browser.
Red Hat's community distro embraces the cloud.