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Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) released a letter Wednesday calling for the institution of mandatory privacy policies from all apps offered via the official software marketplaces of Apple (s aapl) and Google (s goog). The request is a formal version of one of the suggestions made at Sen. Franken’s May 10 judiciary subcommittee hearing on mobile tech privacy.
In his letter, which is jointly addressed to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google CEO Larry Page, Sen. Franken requests Apple and Google “commit to requiring that all applications in the Apple App Store and the Android App Market have clear and understandable privacy policies,” as a “simple first step towards further protecting your users’ privacy.” Franken writes that he’s singling out Google and Apple because of their role as key influencers with an outsized share of the mobile app industry pie.
Sen. Franken argues,”there is a greater need for transparency and disclosure for the collection and sharing of all personal information,” [emphasis in the original], but requests that “at a minimum,” apps that make use of location data specifically be required to “provide privacy policies that clearly specify what kind of location information is gathered from users, how that information is used, and how it is shared with third parties.”