Washington, DC–The Federal Trade Communication has issued a report which deals with consumer mobile privacy. The suggested guidelines are intended to give developers, mobile platforms, and advertisers a road map in regard to protecting consumer privacy.
Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Blackberry were actually named in the report. The FTC stated in the document companies such as these ought to include a “Do Not Track” feature, leaving the choice completely up to end-users.
In addition, the regulatory agency suggests that a “Dashboard” also be made available, allowing consumers to view what information on their devices is being accessed by apps they have downloaded. Smartphone and tablet applications are notorious data grabbers, sending all kinds of details back to developers for marketing purposes. Furthermore, the FTC urges companies to provide a disclosure if their product attempts to access sensitive data. Likewise, an icon should appear when information is being shared between the user’s device and the developer.
“FTC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report. Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment,” the report stated.
The Federal Trade Commission’s reported came on the heels of a settlement it reached with the social network Path. The social media company was accused of deceiving its users in order to gain access to contact information without permission and violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protections Act or COPPA.