Six of the leading mobile application providers in the United States have reached an agreement with the California Attorney General aimed at transparency with the collection of personal data.

Amazon, Apple, Google, HP, Microsoft and Research In Motion will now provide app developers with Web links or otherwise inserted text that discloses the personal data policy for the app prior to download, under an agreement announced Wednesday by AG Kamala D. Harris. That falls in line with conspicuous privacy policy postings for apps on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices stated in the California Online Privacy Protection Act.

The vendors committed to that privacy practice with their mobile application platforms and are working to implement them, though the deal does not “impose legally binding obligations” on the six app providers, according to a statement from Harris’ office. Harris said the agreement “shows the power of collaboration—among government, industry and consumers—to create solutions to problems no one group can tackle alone.”

Harris first met with representatives from the six app providers in August 2011 to improve compliance with the California privacy law.

A statement on the agreement noted that there are more than 50,000 individual developers who have created the mobile apps now available for download from the leading provider platforms, with another 600,000 apps for sale through Apple and 400,000 available via Google’s Android Market. However, the AG’s office noted that only about 5 percent of all apps have a disclosed privacy policy.

Customer and mobile data collection efforts by private enterprises have also come under fire in the last week after widespread media reports on tracking of personal information, including one involving Google and Apple.

To read the full, official announcement, click here.

This article was used with permission from Information Management

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