US lawmakers introduce apps privacy bill

The APPS Act would require app developers to obtain consent before collecting personal data

New legislation introduced by a group of U.S. lawmakers would require mobile application developers to obtain consent from consumers before collecting their personal data and to secure the data they collect.

The Application Privacy, Protection and Security (APPS) Act, introduced by Representative Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, and other lawmakers, would also require app developers to maintain privacy policies. The bill would allow consumers to tell app developers to quit collecting or to remove their personal data when they stop using the apps.

"Many consumers do not know that their data is being collected," Johnson said while announcing the APPS Act on the floor of the House of Representatives. "There must be common-sense rules of the road for this emerging challenge."

Several lawmakers and privacy groups have raised concerns in recent months about the amount of personal data some mobile apps collect.

Johnson solicited ideas from developers and the public before introducing the legislation, he said. He launched AppRights.us in July to hear ideas about mobile privacy, he said.

The bill would allow the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to sue app developers who don't comply with the law for unfair or deceptive trade practices. State attorneys general also could bring civil cases against developers.

Privacy advocate Consumer Watchdog praised the legislation. "Mobile apps have become the Wild West of the Internet," John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's privacy project director, said in an email. The bill "will give consumers the ability to understand what happens to their data and some control over its use."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Consumer WatchdogsecurityU.S. House of RepresentativesHank JohnsongovernmentJohn Simpsonlegislationmobileprivacymobile applications

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?