California AG Kamala Harris on app privacy deal (podcast)

Larry Magid chats by phone with California Attorney General Kamala Harris shortly after she announces an agreement with major app companies to protect the privacy of consumers.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announcing an agreement for mobile app privacy Elinor Mills/CNET
California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a mobile app privacy agreement today with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and Research In Motion.

The agreement with the companies whose platforms and app stores collectively dominate the mobile app universe, is designed to bring the mobile app industry into compliance with California's existing law that requires companies that collect personal information to have a published privacy policy.

The announcement comes in the wake of several reports of companies uploading user data, sometimes without informing the user or getting permission.

Last week the Federal Trade Commission released a report titled "Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures are Disappointing," concluding that "parents generally cannot determine, before downloading an app, whether the app poses risks related to the collection, use, and sharing of their children's personal information."

In a telephone interview, shortly after the announcement, (scroll down to listen to podcast) Harris said the agreement has been in the works since August. "It's not often that there's this kind of perfect synergy and timing," she said.

In the interview, the attorney general said "we need to make sure that vulnerable people are protected" and that "those who are uniformed have information that they know their rights and then they can have the tools to protect their privacy and they can have the choice of what they what in terms of the benefits of this technology vs. what might be the drawbacks."

Listen to the 10 minute interview with Kamala Harris

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About the author

Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safety advocate. He's been writing and speaking about Internet safety since he wrote Internet safety guide "Child Safety on the Information Highway" in 1994. He is co-director of ConnectSafely.org, founder of SafeKids.com and SafeTeens.com, and a board member of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Larry's technology analysis and commentary can be heard on CBS News and CBS affiliates, and read on CBSNews.com. He also writes a personal-tech column for the San Jose Mercury News. You can e-mail Larry.

 

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