To Be Clear, Franken Wants Privacy Policies from Mobile App Developers

Lora Bentley
Slide Show

Top 10 Privacy Issues for 2011

Social media and location-based technologies top the list of concerns.

Two weeks after Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) heard from Apple and Google representatives regarding the companies' respective mobile privacy policies, he is calling for definite commitments from them. Franken wants the companies to require all who develop applications for the iPhone, the iPad and Google's Android devices to establish "clear and understandable privacy policies."


According to, the senator didn't get clear enough commitments from the companies during the hearing, so he's asking for them now. Leaving the decision up to individual developers has not yielded desired results to this point. Apple and Google are "in a unique position to influence the market" on the issue, so Franken wants the companies to make policies mandatory for their platforms.


Though Apple's Guy "Bud" Tribble and Google's Alan Davidson told lawmakers previously that customers are able to turn off location-based functionality and they can block individual apps from collecting location information, and that they are alerted and must consent both before apps having access to information are downloaded or actually collect the information, Franken wants more.


Concrete policies, with details regarding what information is collected and how it is used and/or shared, should be required of every developer for each app offered on Google and Apple devices - and they should be presented in a manner that is easily accessible via those devices.

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