Tuesday, January 29, 2013

App Privacy on Mobile Smart Phones

At what point do you realize that you have become a global company? Most likely when you start to get complaints, inquiries, and/or investigations from international users and/or governments.

In WhatsApp's case, as noted at MercuryNews.com, Canadian and Dutch authorities are investigating this Santa Clara based company's privacy practices, as it relates to the use of their app on smart phones.

Specifically, the authorities are questioning WhatsApp's ability to extract all contact information from a client's phone, regardless of whether the contact is a user of the WhatsApp product or not.

WhatsApp appears to have taken steps towards a manual addition of contacts, rather than an automated full extraction of all contacts on a phone, as well as enhancing its encryption of data stored by its app.

There does not appear any final 'findings', however, the authorities continue their investigation.

In general, to the extent you do have any data related to a user or non-user of your product, you should make sure you follow your privacy policy with respect to how you collect, store and maintain such information.

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