The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), a worldwide privacy protection effort that includes the FTC as the United States’ representative, announced it had completed its second yearly privacy sweep, with this year’s focusing on mobile applications. As part of its sweep, GPEN reviewed 1,211 apps globally. It looked for the types of permissions the app sought, whether those permissions exceed what would be expected based on the app’s functionality, and most importantly for GPEN from a transparency perspective, how the app explained to consumers why the app wanted the personal information and what it would do with it. As a result of last year’s sweep, the FTC issued warning letters to ten data broker companies warning that their practices could violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Tip: Although the FTC has not yet released information about enforcement as a result of this year’s sweep, some enforcement is expected and is consistent with the FTC’s continued scrutiny of mobile applications, as we reported last week.