Blog Post: Disclose This!

I am right on the political fence when it comes to our government in the States. There are times it really empowers people to aid and assist in help those that need it.

This is not one of those times.

According to this article from GigaOm, the Federal Trade Commission is cautioning mobile application developers to disclose more information to their users about what kind of data the app is collecting and how it will be used. You may recall me writing about this very topic on Thursday.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what the terms of service is meant to do?

Are we meant to interrupt the users’ experience of using our software to tell them exactly how and why we want their birthday or location (for instance)? Users have made it clear over the past decade that they really don’t read TOS, nor do they care what they are. If an app maker doesn’t have a TOS and needs to disclose that kind of information, well shame on Apple and Android for not checking. If they are, than we have done our job.

As I always say, the litmus test is my mom. If she read every TOS and cared about exactly what her apps were reporting, I might care more. She recognizes, however, that there is value in this gathering of information.

As my dad used to say, “maybe telemarketers have something I want to buy!” We laugh, but there is a kernel of truth there.

What does everyone else think?


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