Global Privacy Authorities Urge App Marketplaces to Mandate Links to Privacy Policies

On December 9, more than 20 privacy officials from around the world signed an open letter to app marketplaces, urging them to require app developers to link to their privacy policies before a user downloads an app. The letter was sent directly to Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, BlackBerry, and Amazon, but is ultimately meant for any marketplace that sells apps.

As a result of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network Privacy Sweep, which examined more than 1,200 app permissions and consumers' knowledge of each app's privacy practices, commissioners assert that most app users are actually unaware of app privacy policies.  Specifically, the letter states that app marketplaces have a greater responsibility to facilitate the communication between app developers and users, particularly in the case of privacy policies. By signing the letter and making their position clear, these commissioners hope that app marketplaces will begin to take direct action leading to stronger privacy policy requirements.

From the outset, the Application Developers Alliance has been a proponent of transparency related to mobile privacy disclosures.  In partnership with Intuit, the Application Developers Alliance  created a simple, user-friendly way for app developers to communicate privacy policies. With the use of the App Privacy Screens developers can insert a piece of code into their apps that succinctly summarizes traditional privacy policies and provides users with easy-to-read, short-form privacy notices for users. The code is open-source so developers can modify and improve on these screens.

Learn more about our App Privacy Screens, and find the free source code here.

Read the open letter to app marketplaces here.