User privacy is a topic that seems to pop up on a fairly regular basis in the mobile space. One recent example is the app Path, which has agreed to pay an $800,000 fine for collecting user data without permission. Today the U.S. Federal Trade Commission touched on the subject of mobile privacy, suggesting ways that platform developers, application developers, ad networks and analytics firms can better inform consumers about their data practices and offer better data protection.
When it comes to platform developers like Apple and Google, the FTC suggests that the companies make a user give consent before allowing apps to collect his or her personal information and content. The agency also says that these developers could create a dashboard in their platform in which users could view the types of information that their apps are accessing, as well as a special icon that would indicate when a user's info is being transmitted. Another suggestion is that the devs create a Do Not Track tool that would prevent third parties from accessing user information.