Government Keeping an Eye on Mobile App Landscape

Government watches mobile landscapeDepartments of the US Government have been taking steps to keep an eye on the consumer mobile space. Their goal is to ensure this new field keeps the public’s interest in mind as it continues to advance. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening lately.

FCC and Mobile Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission has been monitoring land-line broadband connections and speed for a few years. Now, the Commission is looking to include mobile broadband speeds into its annual “Measuring Broadband America” report. This step is part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan which is an attempt to “improve the availability of information for consumers about their broadband service.” Several major wireless carriers and CTIA (the wireless association) have already agreed to work with FCC to measure and report speeds.  The Commission is also looking to include citizen research groups in the effort and held an open meeting on this topic last week. Read more about the FCC’s plan in their press release posted by engadget.

Commerce Department and Mobile App Privacy

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (a branch of the Commerce Department) has been gathering a group of privacy advocates and mobile app stakeholders to discuss the current state and future of mobile data and consumer privacy. This series of meetings is intended to give the two groups a chance for discussion, to work out details and set vague parameters that will help guide a future mobile app code of conduct the NTIA hopes to create. From PCWorld:

The meeting, which focused on procedure as much as policy, saw the airing of a laundry list of concerns that privacy advocates have raised with the way that companies use the information that they collect about consumers through mobile apps.

But although this is the third stakeholder meeting the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has convened on the subject, many of the participants stressed the preliminary nature of the inquiry. …

“We have to understand what it is first before we can talk about how to express it,” said Susan Grant, director of consumer protection at the Consumer Federation of America.

Read the full article at PCWorld >>>

These moves by the FCC and Commerce Department prove that the government is paying attention to the mobile boom and understands that it will affect consumers – they’re hoping to keep that affect for the best.

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