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Microsoft one of several companies to disclose app data usage policy

A new agreement has been made between Microsoft and several big name companies when it comes to disclosing app data usage. The new agreement will require these companies to inform app users how much data will be used by that app before it is downloaded.

The agreement, led by California’s Office of the Attorney General, has companies such as Microsoft as well as Google, Apple, Amazon, HP, and RIM, working on improving their privacy policies in their apps so that users can be informed on how much data will be used by the app. This comes after mobile apps were discovered using address book data without user notification or consent.

The Online Privacy Protection Act, California’s strongest consumer privacy law which requires a privacy policy that details the kinds of information gathered, will pretty much be applied to mobile apps as well since they currently do not have any privacy protections.

These big name companies, such as Microsoft, will now have to redesign their app store or app marketplace and implement a new system that discloses the privacy policy for each app and it must be visible on the store in some fashion.

Google is already working on this and the other big name companies have yet to issue a comment. The Attorney General will meet with each company in six months for a review to ensure this new privacy policy is followed.

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