F.T.C. Serious about Mobile Apps Privacy
While the Federal Trade Commission cannot force the mobile industry to adopt stricter privacy safeguards such as do-not-track features, Chairman Jon Leibowitz is intent on expanding mobile privacy. Along with recommendations in a staff report, the commission fined Path, a social networking app, $800,000 for deceptive privacy practices such as collecting personal information about users, including those under the age of 13—address books, dates of birth and usernames. Path agreed to pay the fine without admitting or denying guilt and released a statement claiming to have found and fixed the issues prior to the F.T.C. investigation. The commission report also noted the efforts of groups like Moms With Apps that developed a badge icon indicating the level of advertising and data-collection of apps aimed at children.