Google and Apple asked to provide better information on the use of personal data

A recent initiative co-ordinated by the Norwegian and Dutch consumer associations has asked Google and Apple to respectively provide better information to their users.

The background to the initiative lay in a coordinated 'sweep' action on online terms and conditions that was carried out last year by 23 members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). In the sweep action, during a set time period, a number of concerns with the terms and conditions and associated practices that could harm consumers and not be in compliance with consumer law were identified. One of the concerns identified in the sweep was a lack of information on the collection and processing of personal data by mobile applications in, 'inter alia', the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

The consumer associations stated that material information on the apps' data usage should be provided up front and directly on the main product page, so that consumers can reasonably take it into account. This would also make it easier for consumers to compare apps.

Google and Apple were invited to meet with the consumer associations to discuss such concerns and find potential solutions. It will be interesting to see what the result of any such discussions will be and what measures and solutions are eventually put in place by Google and Apple