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California Threats App Developers with $2,500 Fine Per Download for Violating Privacy Law

Liviu ARSENE

October 31, 2012

California Threats App Developers with $2,500 Fine Per Download for Violating Privacy Law

California Attorney General Kamala Harris is notifying app developers and companies to post privacy notices for users or risk fines of up to $2,500 every time their app is downloaded.

Announcing that notification letters will be sent to 100 app developers and companies telling them of the new California privacy law, Harris said online customer privacy should not be taken lightly.

“Protecting the privacy of online consumers is a serious law enforcement matter,said Harris. “We have worked hard to ensure that app developers are aware of their legal obligations to respect the privacy of Californians, but it is critical that we take all necessary steps to enforce California’s privacy laws.

According to the California Online Privacy Protection Act, all apps must tell users what information they`re collecting and how it might be used. The privacy policy should be read by users before downloading and installing the app and not afterwards.

With Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research In Motion jumped on the bandwagon in February by complying with the new mobile-app privacy law, Facebook also agreed to the terms in June.

We are very pleased that Facebook has incorporated the Principles into the design of the App Center and that Facebook requires, as a condition of participating in the App Center, that developers submit a link to a privacy policy,“ according to a letter from the Attorney General`s Office to Facebook. “We are also pleased to see that Facebook is prominently displaying the link to an app`s privacy policy in the App Center, and is implementing a means to report and remediate privacy issues.“

If the 100 contacted companies don`t release privacy policy notices for their apps within 30 days, they risk steep fines for each time their app is downloaded.

 

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