The Federal Trade Commission on Friday reaffirmed its previous support for informed consent as a cornerstone to privacy protection in the Wild West of mobile information technology.
Its 36-page report, Mobile Privacy Disclosures, Building Trust Through Transparency, addresses not just mobile application developers, but mobile app platforms as well. While not focused on mobile healthcare applications, the report touches frequently on privacy issues affecting healthcare as well as other mobile application uses.
Informed consent involves a consumer knowing in advance that a platform or app will allow collection of their personal information and still agreeing to its disclosure.
The FTC report authors noted that 217 million smartphones were sold worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone and thus, the FTC was called to make recommendations to the “major participants in the mobile ecosystem as they work to improve mobile privacy disclosures.”