Did you guys hear about the big privacy scandal involving social networking app Path? Well, apparently, the app was downloading each user’s entire address book, without consent, and keeping the information.
At the time of the Path debacle, and on the same day that Apple announced future policy changes, Congress was making its own inquiry into Apple’s privacy policies. Tim Cook himself has assured Congress that Apple plans on changing the way it protects address book data, in the same way that the company handles location data.
In fact, according to California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Apple, Microsoft, HP, Amazon, Google, and RIM have all agreed to new privacy protections for people who use apps. As mentioned above, privacy policies must be presented to users before an app is downloaded, not after, and all privacy policies will be presented consistently.
Attorney General Harris had this to say about the new policy:
“Your personal privacy should not be the cost of using mobile apps, but all too often it is. This agreement strengthens the privacy protections of California consumers and of millions of people around the globe who use mobile apps. By ensuring that mobile apps have privacy policies, we create more transparency and give mobile users more informed control over who accesses their personal information and how it is used.”