‘Apps Would Disclose Collection of Data’

Natasha Singer on the idea behind this new agreement:

The code of conduct would require participating mobile app developers to show notices indicating whether their apps collected user-specific details in any of eight categories: biometrics, including fingerprints or facial recognition data; Web browsing history; logs of phone calls or texts made or received; contact list details like e-mail addresses or social network connections; financial information, like credit or banking data; health or medical data; precise location data; and stored text, video or photo files.

That’s great and all, but it’s probably the least effective solution. For it to work several things need to happen, not the least of which are:

  1. The shady developers signing on;
  2. Consumers stop downloading any apps that do not participate.
  3. It becoming law.

None of those options are likely to happen if you ask me. What’s more likely is that the good developers sign up voluntarily and show that they have nothing to hide, while the bad developers siphon your entire fucking address book and do whatever they want and then say “BUGS! Oops!”. Congress may get around to changing the laws, but the laws will be a hacked apart mess that is irrelevant by the time the laws are invoked.

The real enforcement should come from Apple, Google, and Microsoft — in the form of kicking shady apps out. I feel like such a dialog should be a standard part of iOS that pops up to tell uses what data is being accessed — not ok boxes that are most easily dismissed by agreeing. No, a screen that Apple puts together, not the developers that blocks the entire interface for a few seconds before allowing you to proceed. Then again, me and like two other people, would be the only ones for that.

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Article Details

Published
by Ben Brooks
1 minute to read.


tl;dr

Natasha Singer on the idea behind this new agreement: The code of conduct would require participating mobile app developers to show notices indicating whether their apps collected user-specific details in any of eight categories: biometrics, including fingerprints or facial recognition data; Web browsing history; logs of phone calls or texts made or received; contact list […]