AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

FTC puts out privacy guidelines with mobile in mind

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Mon March 26, 2012

FTC privacy guide goes live

As promised, the US Federal Trade Commission has posted its Internet privacy recommendations (below) as of Monday. The guidelines include its well-known Do Not Track recommendations, which would have companies honor browser settings to block ad cookies and other tracking, but would have a significant mobile component. Officials have suggested that mobile services improve and provide "short, meaningful disclosures" about privacy safeguards to make sure that users both see and understand their options.

A workshop on May 30 would both provide an updated look beyond the report and provide some advice on how to make mobile privacy notices effective.

Other recommendations include one for "targeted" laws that would require giving customers access to information about them held by a data broker. The FTC would ideally have a central database where these brokers could explain how they get data and what options users have. The agency would encourage an effort by the Department of Commerce and private companies to develop a self-regulatory process for privacy, and another public workshop in the second half of 2012 would tackle issues with Internet providers tracking their customers.

The guidelines aren't legally binding, but they're expected to serve as a basis for voluntary action as well as the possible template for legislation. Google will have already violated one of the regulations by bypassing Safari cookie settings to enable +1 buttons. While not intended for advertising or other tracking, it both followed without active consent and ended up allowing third-party advertisers access in the process.

The advice equally follows concerns over Google's unified privacy policy, which some say forces users to either agree to all services or log out after each dispute. Mobile privacy is coming closer to the forefront as well, with investigations of mobile app privacy underway to see how much information about contacts and media was being sent without permission.

by MacNN Staff



  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mmmhmmm having the tail wag the dog, suggesting to the industry-run industry how they might conduct business... I feel better, sure.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    eh, more like

    requesting the dog attend obedience training, and supplying the cone of shame so it's less likely to continue to bite its own tail.

  1. ferdchet

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's not legally binding, so there's not actually a cone of shame. Which is OK. Plus, I don't know if you've ever requested your dog to attend obedience training, but they don't listen real well.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I've never actually seen

    the tail wag the dog either, but there ya go.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented