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Oct
24
2011

What Should Mobile App Privacy Policies Look Like?

Joanne Furtsch, CIPP, CIPP/C
Policy & Product Architect
@privacygeek

Last week, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) released its Mobile ApplicationPrivacy Policy Framework for mobile app developers.  TRUSTe was among the companies that actively participated in crafting this framework.

The document provides model disclosures addressing core components that must be in a privacy policy:  what data is collected, how it is collected, and how it is used (or shared).  The framework also highlights the importance of controls that need to be available to users of mobile apps, such as the ability to request access to collected data.

In addition to providing model disclosures, the framework also highlights what an app developer needs to take into consideration when drafting a privacy policy.  For example, with location data, it is just as important to state what is not collected, as it is to state what is collected.  Another key area of guidance is around the collection of data from children under the age of 13 as app developers would need to be sure their collection practices comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

TRUSTe appreciated the opportunity to participate in this collaboration, and it provides a great starting point to get app developers thinking about privacy and looking at what data they collect, how they use it, and whom they share it with. App developers also need to understand what data third parties may collect through their apps.  When developers embed third party code into their app it’s very important that they take the steps to understand exactly what that third party code does and how it can impact consumer privacy.

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