On July 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the release of the Short Form Notice Code of Conduct to Promote Transparency in Mobile App Practices, which was developed through the Privacy Multistakeholder Process: Mobile Application Transparency convened by the Department of Commerce. The voluntary Code of Conduct provides guidance regarding short-form notices about the collection and sharing of consumer information with third parties. Short-form notices that comply with the Code of Conduct generally must contain the following content:

  • A listing of specific categories of data that the app collects (e.g., location, contacts, biometrics, user files);
  • a means of accessing a long-form privacy policy, if one exists;
  • a listing of certain categories of third parties with whom the app shares personal information it collects (e.g., ad networks, social networks, data analytics providers, operating systems and platforms); and
  • the identity of the entity providing the app.

The Code of Conduct also contains specific guidance regarding the presentation of short-form notices (e.g., use of icons, font sizes, delivery methods). Certain forms of de-identified data would be exempt from notice requirements, as would the collection and sharing for certain operational purposes, such as authentication and security.