Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Research In Motion, and Hewlett-Packard have agreed to make the privacy policies of apps in their app stores available to shoppers before the apps are downloaded.
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris brokered the agreement between the major app distributors. The agreement is designed to comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act. However, its implementation will affect millions of app shoppers around the world.
News also came out earlier this month that the journaling app “Path” was uploading data from its users’ address books to its own servers. This was done without permission from users. It does not appear that Path was doing this in a malicious manner. The data was used to enhance the operation of the app. They made an apology and deleted the information from their servers. But the publicity from this incident and the FTC study is raising awareness of the amount of personal data that apps can access and transmit to others.