Twenty-two privacy commissioners from around the world — including those from Canada, Alberta and British Columbia — are urging mobile app stores help users find privacy policies of the applications they carry.
The officials are asking the biggest app store operators in the world to point buyers to the privacy policies of every app in their inventory that can access or collect personal information.
The request has gone to Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, BlackBerry and Amazon.com, but is intended for all companies that operate app marketplace.
So a number of privacy commissioners are turning to the app marketplaces for a little muscle.
If app store developers agree, the strategy could put pressure on developers to either be more up front about their privacy policies, or for those who don’t have to create one.
“While app developers clearly have a responsibility to communicate their privacy practices, mobile operating system developers and other app marketplace operators play a unique and integral role,” the 22 wrote in a letter to the marketplaces. “The app marketplace is an important consumer landing spot where individuals can search for new apps, read reviews, and access technical information about a particular app prior to downloading it – and this information is made available so individuals can make informed decisions about products in that marketplace.”