Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 14, 2013, 5:10pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) -- In an effort to better protect state consumers, California Attorney General Kamala Harris last week issued recommendations for mobile app developers.

Harris' report, released Thursday, provided guidance on developing strong privacy practices, translating the practices into mobile-friendly policies and coordinating with mobile industry "actors" to promote comprehensive transparency.

"Californians want to know what personal information their apps collect, how it is used and with whom it is shared," the attorney general said in a statement.

"To meet this need and keep pace with rapidly changing technology, these recommendations strike a responsible balance between protecting consumers' personal information and fostering the continued growth of the innovative app economy."

The report, entitled "Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem," is the result of an outreach effort that compiled input from stakeholders throughout the mobile industry, Harris said.

A copy of the report can be found here.

Its purpose, the attorney general explained, is to serve as a template for the industry to develop mobile-friendly privacy policies and practices that will improve consumer privacy without stifling innovation.

According to the Attorney General's Office, more than half of American adult cell phone owners access the Internet from their phones, and more than 1,600 mobile apps are released every day.

Harris previously came to an agreement with the seven leading mobile and social app platforms -- Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion.

The agreement, reached last year, involved displaying app privacy policies that users could find in a consistent location in the platform store and review before downloading an app.

In October, the attorney general also sent letters to about 100 mobile app developers and companies that were not in compliance with the state's Online Privacy Protection Act and gave 30 days to post a conspicuous privacy policy.

Last month, Harris filed the first legal action against Delta Airlines Inc. for violating the privacy law, which requires apps that collect personally identifiable information to conspicuously post a privacy policy.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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