Alan Friel Quoted in Daily Journal Article on Mobile Data Privacy

News / February 27, 2013

The article, "Debate over mobile data privacy heats up," published in Daily Journal on February 27 covers mobile data privacy guidelines and best practices. The guidelines recently issued in January and February are the first to specifically address mobile developers, according to Alan Friel. The FTC and state attorney general's guidelines both lean toward the necessity of implementing user-friendly privacy policies and urge companies to make sure user anonymity is protected and that a notification system is put in place. The topic of large debate is the lack of specific language in the California Online Privacy Protection Act that applies to mobile data privacy. Many think that because apps transmit and access data online, the laws that apply to the Internet should also apply to mobile privacy. Friel said that "from 'purely technical point of view,' it was worth asking whether this was the case. As a practical matter, he said it was less of a question mark. / 'There's no doubt mobile platforms and apps interact with the Internet as we know it...I don't think anyone is going to get anywhere saying they don't." 

Friel also stated that technology moves quickly, while legislation is slow to change, so industry regulation through best practices is the best option moving forward. In the meantime, if regulatory developments aren't making waves in the mobile community, it's likely that 175+ consumer class action cases pending across the country will.