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Apple, Google, RIM Agree to Transparent App Privacy Policies

Following recent scandals regarding apps that allowed unauthorised access to the devices on which they were installed, the major players in the app industry have agreed to take significant steps to improve the situation, at the behest of the Attorney General of California.

More precisely, Google, Apple, Amazon, HP, Microsoft, and Research In Motion were asked to comply with Californian law that requires apps which collect personal information to have clear and transparent privacy policies.

The Attorney General Kamala D. Harris made the announcement yesterday revealing that six top platforms for mobile applications had agreed to tighter privacy principles.

"This agreement will allow consumers the opportunity to review an app's privacy policy before they download the app rather than after, and will offer consumers a consistent location for an app's privacy policy on the application-download screen. If developers do not comply with their stated privacy policies, they can be prosecuted under California's Unfair Competition Law and/or False Advertising Law," the press release on this matter states.

The agreement also says that six months from now the Attorney General will check if the aforementioned mobile platforms have complied with the regulations. The new norm is meant to protect not only the Californian mobile app users, but also millions of users around the world.

The two top players in the app industry, Apple and Google, have a cumulative number of around 1 million apps (Apple's App Store has approximately 600,000 apps and Android Market has around 400,000 apps).

Radu has been working as a freelance writer for more than five years and has been blogging around since 2004. He is interested in anything Apple as well as gaming and mobile applications.