On July 12, 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) hosted its first multistakeholder process meeting to examine mobile application transparency. Earlier this year the White House released a privacy blueprint and requested that NTIA convene interested stakeholders to develop enforceable codes of conduct. In response, the NTIA hosted a meeting titled, “Providing Transparency in How Consumer Data Is Handled by Mobile Applications.” The meeting kicked off NTIA’s effort to develop a code of conduct for providing transparency for mobile apps and interactive services for mobile devices. The next meetings will be held August 22nd and 29th.

Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary for NTIA, greeted the more than 200 people who attended the meeting in person, with another 100 or more joining online. He said that the discussion is “the first step in a journey to develop codes of conduct for transparency in mobile apps.” He reiterated that NTIA will act solely as a facilitator of the process, and it will not impose rules or its judgment on the process. He said the purpose of the first meeting is not to reach any consensus, but instead to identify issues for future meetings.

In line with the Assistant Secretary’s message, the NTIA conveners guided the discussion to assist the stakeholders in identifying common ground on issues. This process resulted in the stakeholders identifying over 70 substantive points for consideration. On August 1, 2012, NTIA released a list of discussion elements grouping similar substantive points identified by the group into “working lists.”6 NTIA has suggested that stakeholders consider these issues in working groups in advance of the August meetings.