Tags: FTC | Mobile | Apps | Do-Not-Track

FTC: Mobile Apps Should Include Do-Not-Track Features

Saturday, 02 Feb 2013 02:38 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Federal Trade Commission Friday said the mobile technology industry should include do-not-track features in software and apps, as well as taking further steps to keep personal information safe.

The FTC's recommendation isn't binding, but Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the agency has been looking at privacy issues for decades, The Hill reports.

“This is necessary because so much commerce is moving to mobile, and many of the rules and practices in the mobile space are sort of like the Wild West,' Leibowitz said.

On Friday, the commission fined Path, a social networking app, $800,000, charging it with violating federal privacy protections for children by collecting personal information from them, including from their address books.

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The FTC is also watching the thousands of small companies that make apps for mobile devices. While app developers generally support the FTC’s role, they have expressed concerns about coming under investigation for unintentionally collecting information.

The newest recommendations follow similar guidelines issued last month by the California attorney general, and are in addition to separate recommendations for safeguarding privacy issues.

Most of the focus, until now, has been on Internet browsers rather than mobile devices. Do-not-track features let users request that their online activities not be followed. Commissioners approved the committee report by a 4-0 vote, with one commission member not participating.




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