California AG, Mobile App Stores Reach Agreement To Protect Privacy

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The Verizon version of the Apple iPhone. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

The Verizon version of the Apple iPhone. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – State Attorney General Kamala Harris has reached an agreement with six companies to improve privacy protections for consumers who access the Internet through mobile apps.

The six companies, Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion, make up over 95 percent of the market.

Harris said the tech giants will now be required to redesign their app stores so privacy policies are displayed.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“Part of what we hope to do with these privacy policies is give the consumer that kind of information so they understand what might be at risk,” said Harris. “And require the app developer to inform the consumer about what information they’re going to take from the consumer when that user downloads that app, be it Angry Birds or NASA.”

Harris said existing California privacy laws will be enforced against the companies so a person’s email information or contact list isn’t taken and used without them being aware.

“Consumers should know what privacy information is collected, how it is used and with whom it is shared,” she said.

Harris and the six companies will convene in six months to see how the agreement is working out.

There are currently about a million apps on the market.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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