FTC: Apps Must Provide More Consumer Info before Download (Aug. 7, 2014)
Many mobile apps used for shopping don’t provide consumers with enough information before they download them to their smartphones, according to the FTC. Its report, “What’s the Deal? An FTC Study on Mobile Shopping Apps,” examined some of the most popular apps used by consumers to comparison shop, collect and redeem deals and discounts, and pay in-store with their mobile devices. The agency reported that apps frequently failed to give consumers information about dispute procedures and their potential liability if something goes wrong with a payment made through the app. The report also noted that apps’ privacy disclosures often used vague language.
The FTC made several recommendations to companies that provide mobile shopping apps to consumers, such as making clear consumers’ rights and liability limits for unauthorized, fraudulent or erroneous transactions; more clearly describing how app providers collect, use and share consumer data; ensuring that companies’ data security promises translate into sound data security practices.
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