Sun. Jul 5th, 2020

Privacy Policy Disclosure Before Download Coming to App Stores

Google, RIM, Apple, Privacy Policy

Would you read privacy policy disclosures before downloading apps onto your phone? Well, now you will. Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft, HP, and Amazon have all agreed to require developers to include privacy policies with their apps that users read before deciding to purchase and download.

Photo and journal iOS software Path’s practice of uploading contact lists to its servers without first informing users has sparked talk and concern over how mobile apps handle personal data. Path had taken entire address books and uploaded them to their servers in what Path CEO Dave Morin describes as a way to “help the user find and connect to their friends and family on Path quickly and efficiently as well as to notify them when friends and family join Path. Nothing more.”

The major driving force behind this change was California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which now applies to mobile apps according to California, USA Attorney General Kamala Harris.

To comply with the act, each of the aforementioned companies will have to make some changes to its app store so that the privacy policy is clearly visible or linked; companies must also monitor developers to make sure they comply with the new requirements.

There’s no hard timeline on when the changes must be implemented, but the Attorney General’s office will meet with each company in about six months to review, so it’s likely these changes will be in place by then. Kamala Harris promised that California would sue companies and developers who don’t take this policy seriously.

The Verge, Reuters