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New privacy policy agreed upon for the WP Marketplace and others

With all the litigation going on involving the smartphone industry, something good might have come from one Courtroom. The California Attorney General has struck a deal with Microsoft, Apple, Google, HP, RIM and Amazon that will have new privacy policies put in place.

In a nutshell the agreement will:

  • Require any software that uses personal information to provide a privacy policy that can be viewed in the store before any app is downloaded.
  • There will also be a requirement to provide links to the relevant documents in an obvious and consistent location.
  • Each app store will provide a simple way for users to report developers that violate the rules.
  • Each platform is committed to educating developers about their obligations to respect consumer privacy and to disclose what private information they collect, how it is used and how it is shared.

As far as enforcement is concerned, violators can be prosecuted under California's Unfair Competition and False Advertising laws. Not sure how far of a reach such enforcement will have but it's a start.

Source: California Attorney General (opens in new tab) Via: Engadget (opens in new tab)

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

12 Comments
  • This is excellent; a reporting channel -and- a requirement to have a viewable privacy policy prior to download.
  • About time!
  • Great news for not being exploited.... Its awesome
  • Expect a flood of devs on AppHub asking "How do I write a policy privacy"?
  • There goes 75% of their apps. Ha!
  • No, they will ask:
    Where can I copy a privacy policy from?
  • This is great.
  • That's great news!!!
    But I miss something:
    A declaration what the relevant APIs are used for (eg location services, data services) and how that data is stored (gps data - transmitted or just locally stored on the phone)
  • This would require an update on the phone side, am I right?
  • This will maybe clean up the marketplace from fraud apps. :)
  • so do you have to have that privacy policy displayed even if your app doesn't use network?
  • Regardless of what you have to do, you'd be wise to have a privacy policy.
    The Marketplace submission includes a step where a tool shows you all permissions your app or game really needs. Unfortunately, most developers seem to have missed that part, resulting in their apps having the 4 default permissions.
    We paid attention, cut it back to 1 permission, and explain why we need it. That was a couple of days before the sh*t hit the fan. Just check the Marketplace for "Arachna".
    We're from Germany, and privacy has always been a major concern here. So we can now lean back, while others are busy updating their apps, clogging the submission queue for weeks.