Making good on her promise to enforce the state’s privacy law against mobile apps, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that she sent warning letters to “scores” of noncompliant developers.
In February Harris reached an agreement with six major online companies through which apps are generally available – Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion – which made clear that the 2003 California Online Privacy Protection Act applies to mobile apps. Facebook signed on to the agreement over the summer.
While the collection of consumer information by mobile apps is perfectly legal under the law, developers and platforms must inform consumers prior to collection, typically when the app is downloaded. Violation of the law can result in fines of up to $2,500 per download of the noncompliant app.
To read a sample warning letter, click here.
Why it matters: Harris said “up to 100” letters were sent “starting with those who have the most popular apps available on mobile platforms,” but indicated that this was just the beginning of her enforcement activity. Developers should review their privacy policies and ensure that their apps are in compliance with California law.