At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week, the industry body GSMA announced a set of privacy guidelines for mobile apps, which are already being implemented by mobile operators in Europe.
The GSMA, with the support of leading mobile operators in Europe and following consultation across the wider mobile ecosystem, has published a set of global Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development. The guidelines aim to provide users with better transparency, choice and control over how apps use their personal information. Mobile operators in Europe will implement the guidelines for their own branded applications.
‚Mobile has become an incredibly important and influential tool for people around the world, regardless of age or geography,‚ said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. ‚However, with this growing use come significant privacy concerns over the ability of mobile users to exercise choice and control over the use of their personal information. The publication and implementation of the Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development will help preserve the trust and confidence of users as they navigate this new world of applications.‚
The GSMA is committed to working with stakeholders from across the mobile ecosystem to help establish effective and consistent privacy experiences for mobile users, and to ensure that privacy is a key consideration of all mobile services.These guidelines build upon the Mobile Privacy Principles introduced last year and describe the way in which consumers’ privacy should be respected and protected when they are using mobile applications and services that access, use, or collect their personal information.
Mobile operators in Europe, including Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom – Orange, Telecom Italia, Telef√≥nica, Telekom Austria Group, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera and Vodafone, are now starting to implement these guidelines for their own operator-branded mobile applications. It is hoped other parties in the mobile ecosystem will follow the lead of mobile operators and consider how they can adopt the guidelines.
‚Protecting our customers’ data is of paramount importance to Orange, and we are fully supportive of this initiative that clearly puts customers’ needs for privacy at the forefront,‚ said Jean-Marie Culpin, Group Director of Marketing, Orange. He continued: ‚As more and more of our customers reap the benefits of what the digital age has to offer, Orange is here not only to provide these opportunities, but to support, guide and protect them on this journey of discovery.‚
‚Customer privacy is a priority for Telecom Italia, and since adopting the GSMA Mobile Privacy Principles, we have actively worked with the wider community to develop the Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development,‚ said Franco Bernab√®, Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia Group and Chairman of GSMA. ‚The adoption of these guidelines is a starting point to define a whole ecosystem in which mobile network operators, vendors, Over the Top Players and third parties collaborate for a single, global privacy approach.‚
‚Customers’ confidence and trust in our mobile services are key for our business. Thus, Telekom Austria Group supports the Applications Developers Guidelines and is fully committed to implementing this initiative,‚ said Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO, Telekom Austria Group.
‚Telenor participated in the work with the GSMA Privacy Principles that were released by the GSMA in January last year, and has, as a natural continuation of this work, been involved in the work with Privacy by Design Guidelines for Mobile Apps,‚ said Kjetil Rognsv√•g, Group Privacy Officer Telenor Group. ‚Telenor believes that it is necessary in the ever more global application market to do our best to safeguard our customers’ use and thereby also safeguarding our own business. The guidelines are a step in this direction, and Telenor has already started implementing them in our organization.‚
‚In order to maintain the strong growth in both the sales and popularity of mobile apps, customers need to be confident that their privacy is protected when they use them,‚ said Stephen Deadman, Group Privacy Officer, Vodafone. ‚This is the responsibility of the entire mobile industry, and these guidelines set an important standard in defining what consumers should expect from their apps.‚
The Mobile App Privacy Design Guidelines are aimed at all those in the mobile app or service delivery chain who are responsible for collecting and processing personal information about mobile users, including developers, device makers, OS companies, mobile operators, advertisers and analytic companies. The guidelines encourage the development, delivery and operation of mobile applications that put users first and help them understand what personal information a mobile application may access, collect and use: what the information will be used for and why: and how users may exercise choice and control over this use.
‚The Privacy Guidelines which are being implemented now are an important first step, but to effect real change, there needs to be close collaboration between the mobile industry, Internet industry, civil society and regulators,‚ continued Bouverot. ‚Today’s announcement is a good first step in establishing best practices for our industry. We encourage an active dialogue and broad support of these guidelines across the entire ecosystem to ensure we deliver a secure environment that respects the privacy of mobile consumers.‚
For a copy of the GSMA’s Privacy Design Guidelines, please visit http://www.gsma.com/Mobile-Privacy-Design-Guidelines.