Calif. to fine app developers over privacy

Oct. 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM
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SACRAMENTO, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- California officials say they've contacted some mobile app developers to inform them they're breaking state law covering privacy policies.

Under the California Online Privacy Protection Act, mobile app developers who don't post conspicuous online and in-app privacy policies can face a $2,500 fine per app download, InformationWeek reported.

California officials say they are ready to start fining developers who release apps that lack such clear and easily accessible privacy policies.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris this week began notifying numerous businesses that collectively develop as many as 100 different mobile apps they have "30 days to conspicuously post a privacy policy within their app that informs users of what personally identifiable information about them is being collected and what will be done with that private information."

"Protecting the privacy of online consumers is a serious law enforcement matter," Harris said in a statement. "We have worked hard to ensure that app developers are aware of their legal obligations to respect the privacy of Californians, but it is critical that we take all necessary steps to enforce California's privacy laws."

Harris started warning businesses about required compliance with the state's privacy law in February, when she announced the six businesses with the largest mobile app distribution platforms -- Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research In Motion -- had agreed to a set of privacy principles.

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