App development: Is ‘privacy by design‘ the new standard?
Internet Policy Review
Over the last few years, privacy has become a trending topic when it comes to the mobile internet. Mobile app developers and providers of app stores have increasingly been put under pressure by privacy advocates.
Many of these small computer programmes, of which there are thousands developed and offered in app stores worldwide, have reached new levels of opaqueness with regards to the collection and unauthorised re-use of user data. It was established that certain apps could retrieve, record and read personal data such as addresses in your address book, geolocated data and text-messages, without prior consent or even awareness on the user’s behalf.
Privacy-related incidents in the last five years have had lasting impacts on user behaviour. A 2012 report of the US-based Pew Research Center has found that users of mobile phones are increasingly worried about how apps handle personal data. More than half of those surveyed have uninstalled an application or avoided installing one in first place, when knowing what this meant in terms of data collection and transfer.