by Chrissy Giglio
In the world of app development, one of the most crucial things to remember is the importance of transparency. Being open and truthful with users about all aspects, especially data collection, is a necessity. The US Federal Trade Commission has released a new report that targets mobile platforms and app developers. It’s intention is to suggest to these platforms and developers to inform their users about the data collection that is/or is going to occur.
The FTC is urging for it be a commonality for mobile devices and apps to inform users before personal information is collected. Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC says, “These best practices will help to safeguard consumer privacy and build trust in the mobile marketplace, ensuring that the market can continue to thrive.” According to the report, at the end of the fourth quarter in 2012, 217 million smartphones were purchased worldwide. Since the number of smartphones owned is going to continue to increase, potential data to be collected will continue to increase as well. Users want to feel safe while using their mobile devices and not be concerned with outside issues.
According to the same FTC release, approximately 57 percent of app users have removed an application from their phone or have declined to download it in the first place due to privacy issues. Overall, one third of Americans do not feel as if they are in control of the information that is stored on their devices. The given set of recommendations will hopefully encourage developers to amend their ways in order to regain trust from users. The FTC also has a document with a more specific guidelines on security in regards to mobile app development.
In order to maintain and increase the level of trust that the public has for developers, they should consider taking some time and going through the detailed suggestions provided to them. Making some alterations to their services may convert some skeptics into fans.