On Friday February 1st, the FTC published recommendations to help build trust in the mobile marketplace. The report reviews some prior work the FTC has undertaken in this area, along with suggestions for major players in the ecosystem.
I read the report over the weekend, and unlike COPPA which is written in dense legalese, the FTC Report flows rather smoothly. Their recommendations are written specifically for platform providers, app developers, third party service providers, and trade associations.
I was pleased to read the acknowledgement of the privacy icon efforts on page 26, and feel their encouragement of this “kind of innovation” is well timed. There is plenty of work left to do to make privacy disclosures on mobile devices as familiar as a nutrition label. We’ll be getting somewhere when reading the ingredients of your mobile app becomes as simple, trustworthy and consistent as reading the ingredients on your food label.
If you have some time, here is a link to the press release and full report: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/02/mobileprivacy.shtm
In parallel, a tightly integrated set of app developers are already addressing many of the recommendations in the report by joining forces with the Association for Competitive Technology under an initiative called ACT4Kids. Overall, our goal is to make kids’ app development appropriate and successful in a highly regulated environment. Here is the press release with more information: http://actonline.org/act-blog/archives/2814
Meanwhile, wish us luck! We have a LOT to accomplish in the next few months.