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FTC Calls For “Do Not Track” App Registry

The Federal Trade Commission says that mobile platform providers, app developers and advertisers need to pay more attention to consumer privacy concerns.

Among their major concerns are apps that track the user’s location. We told you about the top 10 worst apps for tracking you in this article [1]. Now the government wants some changes. A new report suggests that mobile platforms give complete disclosures and get express permission from the user to use geolocation.

They also want a one-stop “dashboard” where you can look up what kinds of personal information various apps have permission to access.  In addition, the FTC wants some kind of icon that pops up whenever an app accesses your data, so you know it’s happening right then.

Perhaps the most interesting suggestion, is a national “Do Not Track” Registry, similar to the “Do Not Call” Registry that tells telemarketers  you aren’t interested. Consumers could prevent tracking by ad networks and third parties by signing up for the registry. The agency also thinks app developers need a standard short disclosure form that will be easy for consumers to understand.

The agency also introduced a new business guide called “Mobile App Developers: Start With Security” that it hopes will educate developers to keep security in mind.

– Cynthia