Wednesday February 1, 2012

Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

Following a GSMA review of existing mobile operating systems (OS) and application security frameworks, and after discussions with industry players and application developers, it became clear that there is an inconsistent approach to mobile application privacy across different OS and platforms.

Discussions with application developers also revealed that this fragmentation of privacy approaches is sometimes regarded as a burden, as often they have to address privacy issues in different ways for multiple platforms while not necessarily meeting the privacy interests of individuals.

The GSMA’s Privacy Design Guidelines for Mobile Application Development seek to articulate the Mobile Privacy Principles in more functional terms and are intended to help drive a more consistent approach to user privacy across mobile platforms, applications and devices. The guidelines are focused on putting mobile users first, helping them to manage their information and their privacy on mobile phones in clear and simple ways.

The guidelines are intended to:

  • Harmonise approaches to privacy across platforms, applications and devices, fostering the development of a common set of functional requirements;
  • Enable mobile users to benefit from a consistent functional treatment of their privacy across platforms and devices, strengthen their awareness and help them make decisions relevant to their interests and contexts;
  • Encourage innovation in the development of privacy controls; and
  • Establish a framework of confidence and trust in the mobile ecosystem, and make it easier for developers to build in privacy from the outset.

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