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Jon Fox,
CALPIRG Education Fund

AG Announces New Rules to Improve Online Privacy Protections for Consumers

Statement by Jon Fox, CALPIRG Consumer Advocate

“CALPIRG applauds today’s announcement by Attorney General Kamala Harris that the biggest operators of mobile apps will adopt consumer privacy policies. Mobile apps can capture personal information from consumers phones, including phone numbers, friends’ contact information, social network activity, age, and GPS location. Unfortunately, most apps, including apps marketed to children, fail to tell consumers what personal information they are gathering and what they are doing with it. Having a written privacy policy will force developers to think about the privacy impacts of their products. Today’s agreement should give smart phone users a better understanding, and thus more control, over who accesses their personal information and how it is used. Having privacy policies is step one to protecting consumers’ personal information. Step two is making sure the privacy policies are strong.”

To ensure that the content of new privacy policies protect consumers, CALPIRG recommends that the Attorney General’s office works with app developers to adopt robust privacy polices based on the Fair Information Practice Principles - a set of generally accepted principles for safeguarding individuals’ personal information. These principles include:
•    Be completely transparent about how you are using or transmitting user data.
•    Don’t access more data than you need.
•    Give consumers control over uses of data that they might not expect.
•    Use reasonable and up-to-date security protocols to safeguard data.

The California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Education Fund is a result-oriented public interest group that protects consumers, encourages a fair sustainable economy, and fosters responsive democratic governance.

For more information contact:                    
Jon Fox, CALPIRG Consumer Advocate                                               
Office: (415) 622 0039 x309
jfox@calpirg.org

 

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