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FTC Report Tackles Privacy, Suggests Changes

Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:57am
Andrew Berg

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is calling on mobile companies to work toward improved privacy protections, including the development of shorter, more succinct privacy disclosures, according to a report released yesterday by the commission that seeks to understand how to better protect consumer data and privacy.

The report, which includes recommendations for businesses as well as lawmakers, calls for increased transparency across the board. The FTC says it has initiated a project to update its business guidance about online mobile privacy disclosures and how these disclosures can be short, effective and accessible to consumers on small screens. 

While major players like Apple, Google and Facebook have been at the center of regulator inquiries on privacy recently, the FTC took aim at major data brokers as a segment that needs to improve transparency the most.

The commission said it supports “targeted legislation – similar to that contained in several of the data security bills introduced in the 112th Congress – that would

provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker.” 

The report calls on data brokers that compile data for marketing purposes to explore creating a centralized website where data brokers could identify themselves to consumers

and describe how they collect and use consumer data while also detailing how and by whom their data is being accessed.

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