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Smartphone Power Players Agree to More Closely Guard Customer Privacy

In a potentially landmark move Apple, Google, HP, Microsoft, and Research in Motion (RIM) have come to an agreement with California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to strengthen and enhance user privacy. The companies have agreed to create and prominently display a privacy policy detailing what information they collect from consumers and how exactly they plan to use it. App Store curators such as Apple and Google will also have to keep a close eye on how the apps sold in their stores handle user privacy, and both the developers and distributors of offending apps could be hauled into court.

The agreement comes less than a week after reports surfaced that certain apps were covertly snatching customer data and using it in various undisclosed and potentially unethical ways. Though none of the parties named in the arrangement were accused of collecting improper data, many found them guilty by association due to the fact that the offending apps sat on their stores and pulled data off devices they created.

In the ongoing war to determine who gets to see your personal information and how much this is a nice win for users. It’s still just a small step and possibly more symbolic than anything considering just how much info we either unwittingly share or offer up in spite of the potential repercussions. At the very least though, this is a start.

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Brad Hilderbrand
Brad is a freelance writer specializing in the gaming, mobile and tablet industries. He is the founder of, and would greatly appreciate it if you'd poke your head in and say hi.
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