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Privacy on the Go – Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem

Privacy on the Go – Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem, Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, California Department of Justice. January 2013

  • “Today, 85 percent of American adults own a cell phone and over half of them use their phones to access the Internet. The mobile app marketplace is also booming with more than 1,600 new mobile apps being introduced every day. These apps allow us to do everything from streaming movies to hailing a cab to viewing our own X-ray and ultrasound images. Along with the many wonderful capabilities these apps offer, we remain mindful that the mobile environment also poses uncharted privacy challenges, such as the difficulty of providing consumers with meaningful information about privacy choices on small screens and the many players who may have access to sensitive user information…Recognizing that the legally required general privacy policy is not always the most effective way to get consumers’ attention, Privacy on the Go recommends a “surprise minimization” approach. This approach means supplementing the general privacy policy with enhanced measures to alert users and give them control over data practices that are not related to an app’s basic functionality or that involve sensitive information.”
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