DPAs to conduct privacy enforcement sweep next week

27 Data Protection Authorities from around the world will be scrutinising organisations’ collection and use of personal information on mobile apps next week. This online sweep, to be carried out 12-18 May, and organised by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), will look at permissions an app is seeking, whether those permissions exceed what would be expected based on the app’s functionality, and most importantly from a transparency perspective, how the app explains to consumers why it wants the personal information and what it will do with it.

“The number of mobile applications offered to consumers is growing at an astonishing rate and many of them collect a great deal of personal information,” says Chantal Bernier, Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

“It is important that consumers have the information necessary to really understand what they are agreeing to when they install an app on their mobile device. App developers need to be transparent and offer clear, easy-to-understand privacy information.”

The GPEN consists of 40 national and regional privacy enforcement authorities, including the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Data Protection Supervisor. Participating authorities will look at some of the most popular apps or apps that are of particular interest in their country or region.

Privacy Laws & Business 27th Annual International Conference, New Horizons – New Risks, in Cambridge 30 June to 2 July 2014 will include sessions on “Top 5 privacy traps for Apps” and "Investigations and data protection: balancing conflicting risks".