Congressman Hank Johnson is set to introduce the APPS Act, explained as:

This bill addresses the public’s growing concern with data collection on mobile devices. It would require that app developers provide transparency through consented terms and conditions, reasonable data security of collected data, and users with control to cease data collection by opting out of the service or deleting the user’s personal data to the greatest extent possible.

It’s really great to see steps like this even being considered by Congress and the proposed bill seems reasonable to me, but I wonder why it is being limited to “mobile devices” and what that term means. Are we talking apps that are native to mobile devices, or web services in general? That is, Facebook’s native app, or mobile too?

If not web apps, then why not? Why is it assumed that native mobile apps are more privacy invasive than web services like Google or Facebook?

So while this is a step, it seems like an overly cautious one at best.

Originally posted for members on: January 19, 2013
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