News release: “A new staff report issued by the Federal Trade Commission finds that many mobile apps for use in shopping do not provide consumers with important information – such as how the apps manage payment-related disputes or handle consumer data – prior to download. The report, What’s the Deal? An FTC Study on Mobile Shopping Apps, looked at some of the most popular apps used by consumers to comparison shop, collect and redeem deals and discounts, and pay in-store with their mobile devices. The report builds on the findings of the Commission’s 2012 workshop on mobile payments and the report from that workshop, which raised concerns about consumers’ potential financial liability – as well as the privacy and security of their data – when using mobile payment services. In this new report, FTC staff surveyed a total of 121 different shopping apps across the Google Play and Apple App Stores. The survey included 47 price comparison apps, which let consumers compare prices on a particular item in real-time; 50 “deal” apps, which provide consumers with coupons or discounts; and 45 in-store purchase apps, which enable consumers to use their phones to pay for goods they purchase in physical stores. Several apps were found in more than one category.”
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