NTIA Hosts Inaugural Privacy Multistakeholder Meeting on App
July 17, 2012 | More than 300 individuals
representing industry, consumer groups and government came together last
Thursday (July 12th) in Washington, DC to participate in a
government-led initiative to develop a “code of conduct” by
which companies would disclose to consumers how they handle personal
data collected through mobile apps.
Organized by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA),
“Seeking Common Ground Regarding Mobile
Transparency” provided a forum for participants to voice their
ideas and concerns regarding mobile app transparency.
Following the publication in February 2012 of an Obama Administration report regarding online
consumer privacy protections, the NTIA was charged with bringing
together interested stakeholders to develop enforceable codes of conduct
to specify how principles within the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights
should apply in specific business contexts. Based upon stakeholder
input, the NTIA selected transparency and mobile applications as the
first topics to be addressed in this multistakeholder setting.
With nearly 200 participants on-site and another 100 participating
via live webcast, stakeholders lined up to ask questions and offer
comments spanning the definition of “mobile
application,” disclosures about why personal data is being used,
assurances that the policies of child-directed apps can be easily
understood by children and teens, the possible development of
iconography to explain complex legal concepts, the creation of
“digital billboards” for consumers to show what data is
currently being shared, and more.
Stakeholders were also forthcoming with opinions to the NTIA about
the schedule and format of future meetings, asking for improvements that
would facilitate remote participation, the advance dissemination of
meeting materials, and the implementation of archives and workshops.
Though TIA representatives offered no specific comments on behalf of
the toy industry, the Association’s presence demonstrated
TIA’s continuing stance as an advocate for sound and sensible
measures that protect children’s privacy when using any form of
digital media. The Association will participate in future NTIA
events and continue to actively monitor and engage in discussions
regarding federal and state laws, regulations, reports, policy
initiatives and self-regulatory standards that implicate privacy in a
manner that affects toy companies.