The California Attorney General's office today announced that Apple, Google, and other companies running mobile app marketplaces have agreed to implement new standards for notifying users of privacy policies associated with apps offered in their stores. The provisions will require that developers of apps that collect personal information include privacy policies with their app sthat can be viewed directly from the store before downloading the apps themselves.
Finally, the agreement requires that the companies provide simple methods for users to report apps that do not comply with privacy requirements, as well as systems for dealing with those reports.
Following publicity about location-tracking and privacy on mobile devices last year, U.S. Senator Al Franken sent letters to Apple and Google specifically asking if they would be willing to require clear privacy policies for apps distributed through their stores.
Apple's Bud Tribble had noted during a Senate hearing on mobile privacy that privacy policies from developers would not go far enough in protecting users' information, arguing that Apple's own efforts to provide visual indicators of information sharing such as an icon becoming visible when the user's location is being transmitted are more effective at policing privacy issues.