The Global Privacy Enforcement Network recently published the results of its second annual privacy enforcement survey or “sweep” which assessed the transparency of the privacy practices of popular mobile applications. The results of the sweep suggest that the privacy policies of a high proportion of mobile applications do not adequately explain how users’ personal information is collected, used and disclosed. The general conclusion of the sweep was that clear and concise language in privacy policies builds consumer trust and is good for business.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (Commissioner) participated in the sweep and focused on 151 mobile applications that were popular among Canadians. The key findings of the Commissioner are as follows:
- 28% of the applications surveyed provided a clear explanation of their collection, use and disclosure of personal information practices;
- among the applications with the best privacy practices were popular applications in the e-marketplace.
Tips for mobile application privacy policies
In connection with the sweep, the Commissioner released a guide for communicating privacy practices to mobile application users. The three primary messages contained in the guide are as follows: