Federal regulators have warned the mobile-app industry that if it doesn't take people's privacy more seriously, lawmakers will likely lower the boom.
The Federal Trade Commission is urging smartphone and tablet app developers to include "do not track" features so marketers can't follow people as they traverse the wireless world.
An FTC staff report also calls for mobile apps to include easily accessible privacy policies that feature more understandable language.
Novel ideas, right?
"The mobile world is expanding and innovating at breathtaking speed, allowing consumers to do things that would have been hard to imagine only a few years ago," says FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "These best practices will help to safeguard consumer privacy and build trust in the mobile marketplace, ensuring that the market can continue to thrive."
The agency's recommendations aren't binding, but they provide a clear sense of how the regulatory winds are blowing.
About 217 million smartphones were purchased worldwide in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the FTC. Many are now in the hands of kids.