MMA Issues App Privacy Guidelines

SmartPhoneAddressing a touchy topic for consumers and their advocates, the Mobile Marketing Association has released new guidelines on application privacy.

According to the MMA, the completed guidelines address the industry’s core privacy issues with regard to current data processing standards.

Mobile app developers knew that industry guidelines were inevitable, and even beneficial to their businesses. According to Greg Stuart, CEO of MMA Global, they only asked that the policy language be clear, transparent and easy for consumers to understand.

The new guidelines “gives the app development community the meaningful support they need,” said Stuart.

The MMA Mobile Application Privacy Policy was created by the MMA Privacy & Advocacy Committee, which is co-chaired by Alan Chapell, president of Chapell & Associates, and Fran Maier, president of TRUSTe.

Key issues include annotated guidance on core privacy principles and consumer-friendly language for developers to consider; ways to inform users on how data is obtained and used; and guidance on security and confidentiality of information.

“Privacy policies are a key consumer disclosure tool for app developers and important to establishing and maintaining consumer trust,” said Chapell.

The policy couldn’t have come soon enough; there are currently billions of apps downloaded per year, according to the MMA. As of June 2011, over 425,000 individual apps were available via the Apple App Store, and more than 200,000 were available for Android devices.

The new privacy policy follows a broader set of mobile ad guidelines, which were released late last year. The goal, according to the MMA, was to streamline mobile ad buying by creating six standard display units for mobile phones, as well as recommended ad sizes for tablets.

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