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Industry Tries to Streamline Privacy Policies For Mobile ­sers

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Credit: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

As concerns grow over data collection, including proposed legislation to more closely protect consumers, mobile applications developers are building basic privacy policies into their programs.

Although many application developers create programs that collect data on users and sell that information to produce customized advertising, they often lack a consistent approach for protecting users' privacy, according to the Association of Competitive Technology's Morgan Reed. "Solving this privacy problem is absolutely critical for us," Reed says. "We want to make sure this revenue stream continues." By 2015, 36 percent of United States consumers will use mobile Internet services, and spending on mobile advertising is expected to increase to $2.8 billion, according to Forrester Research.

Rising privacy concerns have led Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to propose legislation that would require mobile companies to get a user's consent before collecting location-based data and before sharing that data with third parties. Several firms have responded to the need for privacy by developing policies that are both easy for consumers to read and easy to create for mobile application developers.

From The New York Times
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