Apple and Other Mobile App Distributors Agree to New Privacy Policy Notification Standards

apple security iconThe 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.

Attorney General Harris forged the agreement with six companies whose platforms comprise the majority of the mobile apps market: Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research In Motion. These platforms have agreed to privacy principles designed to bring the industry in line with a California law requiring mobile apps that collect personal information to have a privacy policy. The majority of mobile apps sold today do not contain a privacy policy.

Links to privacy policies will be in consistent locations within the App Store and other marketplaces, offering users the ability to view the policies at a glance. Developers who do not comply with these requirements can be charged under California law, and Apple and the other companies signing on to the agreement have pledged to educate developers about privacy policy requirements and help them to meet the standards.

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.

Top Rated Comments

Starship77 Avatar
120 months ago
That's the problem, no one reads the privacy policy. The "sharing location" icon works much better. They should have something similar for apps that use other information like your contacts, etc...
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
geofffitch Avatar
120 months ago
Great, legalese to the rescue

I can't believe this is seen as an answer to anything - a link to pages of legalese in which some important information is buried. When will we have some real privacy regulation in this country?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Menopause Avatar
120 months ago
On an unrelated topic: who else is dying to see some new iPad 3 rumors/news? :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peace Avatar
120 months ago
So. Basically this new standard just tells devs to include a statement that they are collecting your address book but there is still no way to disable it. It's either use my app and I collect you address book or don't use my app.

:confused:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thewitt Avatar
120 months ago
The iOS API update will require you to give permission for an app to access your address book, just as it does with location data today.

The Privacy Policy is for the LAWYERS, not for the USERS. It's a knee jerk reaction and new legislation because we somehow keep electing lawyers to public office - and lawyers make laws... Every problem solution requires a new law and associated hoop jumping.

No one will read the Privacy Policies. It's just another Accept button to press during the purchase process.

It also is not required to give Apple teeth to dump a developer - they have that today. It will make it easier for lawyers to file against a developer in violation though, and after all, the guys we elect as politicians need to keep their law offices busy filing those class action suits...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ObjectiveV Avatar
120 months ago
Hewlett-Packard?

Edit: Forgot about the TouchPad. That's kind of sad actually.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
apple music

Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream

Friday April 16, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music. The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about ...