Yesterday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) released a discussion draft of the Application Privacy, Protection and Security Act of 2013, or the APPS Act. The Apps Act would require apps to give consumers prior notice about what data it collects and how it will be used, stored and shared, as well as obtain consent to such collection terms. It would also require the app to allow users to opt out of the service and delete personal data collected by the app. Violations of the Apps Act would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.
Public input is sought on the bill via AppRights.us, a Web-based legislative project launched last year to solicit ideas from the public for ways the federal government could better protect app users’ rights.
As this article notes, privacy policies can be difficult to address on mobile devices given the small screen and the limited amount of time users typically are willing to spend to figure them out. Interestingly, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) also held its first Multistakeholder Meeting to Develop Consumer Data Privacy Code of Conduct Concerning Mobile Application Transparency yesterday. The goal of these meetings is “an open, transparent, consensus-driven process to develop a code of conduct regarding mobile application transparency.” The next of these meetings is scheduled for January 31, 2013.