FTC – Mobile App Disclosure Guidelines

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14 March 2013
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FTC released a new set of guidelines for developers of applications for mobile devices. It is now mandatory to make important disclosures easy for users to find rather than burying them. On Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission in a guidance for technology companies said that the app developers should limit the information collected, store it securely and dispose of it when it is no longer needed.

Another important clause is getting the parental permission to collect information on children. Any disclosures about privacy and terms of use should now be clearly visible, and it should be short and crisp instead of a long legal document (as the space available in the mobile device is less) .

“If you make objective claims about your app you need solid proof to back them up before you start distributing it,” said Laura Berger, an FTC attorney who narrated the video. 

However this move has not made the developer community happy, because it is hard to implement because of the amount of space actually available in a mobile device.

A day before in guidance for online platforms, the FTC had urged advertisers to avoid putting promotional messages on mobile and social media platforms like Twitter if the ads required disclosures.

The FTC also discouraged the use of pop-ups for disclosures since they are so often blocked by users.

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