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Global privacy sweep raises concerns about mobile apps

Clear, concise privacy language builds consumer trust and is good for business, according to privacy authorities that took part in this year’s global sweep of more than 1,200 mobile apps.

As mobile apps explode in popularity, many of them are seeking access to large amounts of personal information without adequately explaining how that information is being used, participants in the second annual Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep found.

Last May, the Data Protection Commissioner’s Office in Gibraltar was one of a number of data protection authorities worldwide which took part in the global privacy sweep of mobile apps. A number of locally hosted apps, as well as apps hosted abroad were reviewed as part of the event.

The results of the Internet Sweep offer some insight into the types of permissions some of the world’s most popular mobile apps are seeking and the extent to which organizations are informing consumers about their privacy practices.

In total, 1,211 apps were examined. They included a mix of Apple and Android apps, free and paid apps as well as public sector and private sector apps that ranged from games and health/fitness apps, to news and banking apps.