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Cynthia Chassigneux

16 février 2012

FTC: applications mobiles et politique de confidentialité

Dans le cadre de ses travaux sur les amendements à apporter à la Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (billet), la Federal Trade Commission (FTC) vient de publier une étude intitulée Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures Are Disappointing.
Cette étude invite les développeurs d'applications mobiles à revoir la présentation et le contenu de l'information transmise aux jeunes, mais également à leurs parents afin que celle-ci soit plus accessible.
"FTC staff believes that all members of the kids app ecosystem [...] should play an active role in providing key information to parents who download apps. The mobile app marketplace is growing at a tremendous speed, and many consumer protections, including privacy and privacy disclosures, have not kept pace with this development. Parents need easy access to basic information so they can make informed decisions about the apps they allow their children to use". 
(Source: FTC Staff Report, p. 7)
Dès lors, il est indiqué que
"App developers should provide this information through simple and short disclosures or icons that are easy to find and understand on the small screen of a mobile device. Parents should be able to learn what information an app collects, how the information will be used, and with whom the information will be shared.16 App developers also should alert parents if the app connects with any social media, or allows targeted advertising to occur through the app. Third parties that collect user information through apps also should disclose their privacy practices, whether through a link on the app promotion page, the developers’ disclosures, or another easily accessible method."
(Source: FTC Staff Report, p. 7)
Pour y arriver, la FTC reconnaît que: 
"Additional work is needed to identify the best means and place for conveying data practices in plain language and in easily accessible ways on the small screens of mobile devices. Staff encourages industry members, privacy groups, academics, and others to develop and test new ways to provide information to parents – for example, by standardizing language, creating icons, or using a layered approach."
(Source: FTC Staff Report, pp. 7 et 8)
Après avoir expliqué sa méthodologie, la FTC en arrive à la conclusion que : 
"The mobile apps marketplace is a constantly evolving new media that offers parents many new options for entertaining and educating their children. Staff’s survey shows, however, 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. Although the two major U.S. mobile app stores provide some information and controls governing apps, all members of the mobile app ecosystem – the app stores, the developers, and the third parties providing services within the apps – must do more to ensure that parents have access to clear, concise and timely information about the apps they download for their children. Parents should be able to learn, before downloading an app for their children, what data will be collected, how the data will be used, and who will obtain access to the data. Armed with such information, parents can make knowledgeable decisions about the apps they choose for their children, and embrace these technologies with more confidence. Staff is committed to working with all stakeholders on these issues, and also plans to continue its vigorous enforcement of the COPPA statute and Rule. Staff hopes that this report will spur greater transparency and meaningful disclosure about the data collection practices in apps for children."
(Source: FTC Staff Report, p. 17)

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