Senate Hearing Reflects Increasing Focus on Mobile Privacy and Consumer Protection

On May 19, 2011, the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance held a hearing on protecting consumer privacy in the dynamic mobile marketplace created by smartphones and the advent of mobile applications or apps.” The hearing, Consumer Privacy and Protection in the Mobile Marketplace,” comes amid growing concerns for consumer mobile privacy in the wake of reports that mobile app providers collect personal information without privacy policies or consumer consent on data collection and usage.

Representatives from the FTC, Facebook, Google, Apple, the Association for Competitive Technology and Common Sense Media offered views on mobile privacy from the government, industry and consumer perspectives. The panelists addressed the Senator’s privacy concerns, focusing on FTC authority over privacy, behavioral advertising targeting children, and the specific mechanisms and procedures used to protect mobile privacy.

The hearing builds on a May 10, 2011 Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing that also focused on mobile privacy and a number of legislative proposals to address consumer online and mobile privacy concerns. Please click here for a summary of the hearing.