App developers may soon be voluntarily “required” to fess up as to what data they collect, and how they use it, under a set of government proposals released today.
The US government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration today issued its first draft of what will be a mobile apps code of conduct intended to better protect consumers and their privacy. If made final, policy states that publishers must provide consumers with “short-form” notices in multiple languages informing them of how their data is being used.
The proposal specifically says the “data” covered would include biometrics, browser history, phone or text log, contacts, financial info, health, medical, or therapy info, location, and user files.
Of course, all this is from the government, so it’s not exactly moving at the speed of light. Unless you have a snail named “Light.” It’s taken a year to get the proposal this far, and even if the proposal becomes law, there is no requirements for app developers to comply, it will all be voluntary, so…
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) came out in support of the policy, saying it’s a “modest but important step forward” for consumer privacy. However, the ACLU did take a few shots at the government agency, as the organization’s legislative counsel Christopher Calabrese said, “The fact that it took a year to come to agreement on just this single measure, however, makes it clear that we need comprehensive privacy legislation in order to gain meaningful privacy protections for consumers. After all, we should be able to enjoy cool new technologies without giving up our privacy.”