Mobile security in a poor state according to US FTC

Mobile Security FTCMobile security attracts attention of FTC

Mobile security is a potential catastrophic problem, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection. The federal government has been pushing for more comprehensive mobile security measures to be put in place throughout the country. Mobile applications and the information they collect from consumers has, thus far, been the primary focus of the government’s mobile security concerns, with the FTC aiming to hold applications developers and companies responsible for the information that they collect.

FTC targeting companies collecting consumer information

The issue of mobile security has become more pronounced since the FTC filed a case against Compete, a search marketing firm. Compete uses technology to collect personal data from consumers using its services, without providing these consumers with information about how this data will be used. In the case,  the FTC has prohibited the company from collecting consumer information without the express consent of the consumer. The FTC also closed several cases against companies concerning the use of software that was being used to deliberately spy on consumers.

Google runs afoul of federal government

Google was also targeted by the FTC in late 2012 for circumventing the protocols of Apple’s Safari Internet browser to introduce users to targeted advertisements. The massive technology company was fined a record setting penalty of $22.5 million for breaching mobile security standards. FTC officials are likening the current state of the country’s mobile security practices to the “wild, wild west,” suggesting that many companies operating in the mobile space have little to no concern for mobile security.

Mobile security recommendations coming from the FTC

The FTC is currently developing recommendations concerning mobile security standards titled “Building Trust Through Transparency.” These recommendations are meant to help ensure the protection of consumer information, keeping this data safe from exploitation by marketers and similar groups. The initial recommendations will focus on companies collecting information from mobile consumers. In the future, the FTC will focus more closely on application developers, hoping to further bolster mobile security for consumers.

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