Mobile Apps Surprises Draw Greater US Scrutiny
E-Commerce Law & Policy
June 2012

A litany of mobile apps ‘surprises’ involving unexpected information collection and sharing has mobile apps sitting on the front burner of the US privacy debate. The Federal Trade Commission, the California Attorney General, the White House and the Department of Commerce have all announced significant actions keyed to the mobile apps space in recent months. Several surprising incidents involving lack of disclosures and/or permissions regarding the collection and use of user data, involving apps by —among others—Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram, have begun to force the issue into the sphere of government regulatory and legislative action. This article by partner John Heitmann discusses the specific actions currently being carried out by various government entities as well as how the industry has reacted to these events.