Six leading mobile application (app) platform operators — Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion — agreed this week to a “Joint Statement of Principles” with Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of California, that effectively creates enforceable, nationwide mobile app privacy standards.
The agreement — announced after a series of recent headlines raising questions about the sufficiency of current app privacy practices — is designed to promote transparency and consumer control over personal data, as well as compliance with existing privacy laws.
“By ensuring that mobile apps have privacy policies, we create more transparency and give mobile users more informed control over who accesses their personal information and how it is used,” Attorney General Harris stated.
Under the agreement, the platform operators will also provide a mechanism for app store users to report apps that do not comply with applicable laws or terms of service. They will also develop a process for addressing such non-compliance, facilitating a self-regulatory enforcement regime to help promote improved privacy practices.
Finally, the platform operators agreed to continue collaborating with Attorney General Harris on mobile privacy best practices.
The parties are scheduled to meet again with six months to evaluate the state of mobile privacy.