An international coalition of 23 privacy regulators released a plea to app marketplaces to act like “a responsible corporate citizen” and make it mandatory for developers to post links to privacy policies prior to download when the app collects personal information.
“While app developers clearly have a responsibility to communicate their privacy practices, mobile operating system developers and other app marketplace operators play a unique and integral role in users’ interactions with apps, made available through their various app stores and app marketplaces,” according to the letter. “The app marketplace is an important consumer landing spot where individuals can search for new apps, read reviews, and access technical information about a particular app prior to downloading it – and this information is made available so individuals can make informed decisions about products in that marketplace.”
The letter cited a study released earlier this year, when members of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network conducted a “privacy sweep” to analyze the privacy disclosures of mobile apps. The GPEN privacy regulators examined 1,211 mobile apps and found that “a high number of apps are accessing large amounts of personal information without adequately explaining how people’s information is being used.”
To read the open letter to app marketplaces, click here.