Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) introduced the bipartisan Application
Privacy, Protection and Security (Apps) Act of 2013 (H.R. 1913), a bill
to increase consumer privacy on mobile devices.
The Apps Act would require app developers maintain privacy policies,
obtain consent from consumers before collecting data, and securely
maintain the data they collect.
Rep. Johnson announced the introduction of the bill at the 5th Annual
State of the Mobile Net Conference being held at the Sewall-Belmont
House & Museum on Capitol Hill.
“A year ago I launched AppRights, an online effort to build mobile
privacy legislation from the bottom up. I learned from CISPA and SOPA,
and I wanted to build something the right way,” said Johnson.
“The overwhelming majority of participants who helped build the
legislation – more than 80 percent – confirmed that Congress should
protect consumers’ privacy on mobile devices,” he said. “These engaged
citizens also wanted simple controls over privacy on devices, security
to prevent data breaches, and notice and information about data
collection on the device. The Apps Act answers the call.”
Amidst the growing clamor for federal action to safeguard consumers’
privacy and security, Congressman Johnson used the feedback to solicit
ideas from the public and keep Americans in the loop as he explored how
federal law could better protect app users’ rights.
Rep. Johnson worked closely with developers and stakeholders to ensure
that it protects consumers without disrupting functionality or
innovation through the APPS Act’s safe harbor and other mechanisms to
promote trust through self-regulation.
AppRights is a web-based legislative project launched in July 2012 that
opened a public conversation about how Congress can help ensure the
privacy and security of mobile device users. For more on the legislation
or to join the online mobile privacy discussion: visit http://www.AppRights.us
and to interact via Twitter (@AppRightsUS) and Facebook.
What the experts are saying about the APPS Act:
Apps Act of 2013 contains several provisions that will advance
transparency in mobile apps. The Act requires developers to clearly
explain the types, uses, and retention period for any personal data
collected. Furthermore, the Act allows consumers to demand the deletion
of their personal data from apps they no longer intend to use, and gives
the Federal Trade Commission rulemaking authority on mobile app
transparency.” – David Jacobs, Consumer Protection Counsel at the
Electronic Privacy Information Center.
“Mobile apps have become the Wild West of the Internet. The APPS Act of
2013 will give consumers the ability to understand what happens to their
data and some control over its use. This is a significant and important
step forward in protecting consumers' privacy.” – John Simpson, Privacy
Project Director at Consumer Watchdog.
“This bill is a common-sense approach to an urgent problem – millions of
consumers are using mobile applications for a host of activities, some
very personal, and yet they lack basic rights with respect to the data
that may be collected about them. The APPS Act of 2013 will give
consumers the information and control they need to use apps with
confidence.” – Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer
Federation of America.