On April 17, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a press release, announcing that the FTC is seeking public comments to explore mobile security issues. The press release refers to the mobile security forum held last year to examine the state of mobile security (the “Forum”). In the press release, the FTC invites comments from the public to expand on a number of complex issues discussed at the Forum with an eye towards a report. 

The FTC explained last year that mobile threats, such as lost or stolen devices, or malicious or privacy-infringing applications, can place consumers at serious risk of identity theft or financial harm because the ordinary use of mobile devices involves the collection, transmission, and storage of consumers’ sensitive personal information. To examine potential threats and solutions, the FTC hosted the Forum and convened four panels consisting of security researchers, academics, and industry representatives. Panelists addressed a variety of mobile security issues such as the mobile threat landscape, industry efforts to secure the mobile ecosystem, and consumers’ mobile security expectations.  With an eye towards a report, the FTC is seeking comments from the public on the following topics: 1) secure platform design, including mobile operating systems, devices, app stores or others; 2) secure distribution channels; 3) secure development practices; and 4) security lifecycle and updates. Comments may be submitted to the FTC following the FTC’s instructions. The deadline is May 30, 2014.