Mobile App Privacy Guidelines Unveiled by California Attorney General

Mobile app privacy came into full view on Thursday as California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris issued a lengthy new set of guidelines to bolster the security of mobile user privacy.

“Along with the many wonderful capabilities these apps offer, we remain mindful that the mobile environment also poses uncharted privacy challenges,” Harris noted in the report. “These are challenges that we must confront and that we must resolve in a way that appropriately protects privacy while not unduly stifling innovation.”

The 22-page set of guidelines encourage mobile software developers to “minimize surprises to users from unexpected privacy practices,” asking for greater transparency in effect.

Although the guidelines do not carry the weight of legislation, the influence may still be substantial. “What California does often ends up becoming the law of the land,” Ryan Calo, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law, tells the L.A. Times.

“In California, we have some of the strongest consumer protection laws in the country. While it is easy to conceive of innovation and regulation as mutually exclusive, California is proof that we can do both. We can innovate responsibly,” Harris said.

To read the guidelines touted today, click here.