Privacy-certification company TRUSTe, which has long issued seals of approval to Web sites that honor its list of best practices. Now it’s going to do the same thing for mobile apps and sites on all major phone platforms, via a new service called TRUSTe Privacy for Mobile. It’s already up and running in test implementations by Apartments.com, Breastcancer.org, GoDaddy, the Weather Channel, WebMD, and Yelp.
With traditional sites, folks are concerned about what happens to personal information such as their name, address, and credit-card info. On phones, they’re additionally concerned about what happens to details about their physical location–given that virtually every smartphone can determine where they are and hand that info over to apps.
TRUSTe’s mobile certification, therefore, includes rules such as requiring that a third-party application notify the user once that it’s going to use location information. (That turns out to be a halfway point between the required geolocation practices on Apple’s iOs–which are pretty restrictive–and Google’s Android–rather la–TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel told me.)
Apps that use TRUSTe’s certification (which starts at $3,000 a year) can incorporate a slick, simple guide that lets users check out their privacy practices with a few taps. Here’s a Web-based demo.