On June 15, 2012, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced that, in response to a substantial number of comments it received regarding mobile privacy issues, it will convene its first multistakeholder meeting on July 12 to begin the process of developing a code of conduct that promotes transparency in the mobile application context.
As we reported previously, in February 2012, the White House released its long-awaited privacy framework, building on the Department of Commerce’s December 2010 Green Paper. The White House report seeks to fill regulatory gaps in the existing sectoral system of regulation in the U.S., in part by fostering multistakeholder processes to develop enforceable, market-specific codes of conduct. As part of that effort, the NTIA, an agency of the Department of Commerce, was charged with overseeing the development of the codes of conduct. This first meeting, which will be held in Washington, D.C. and will be available via webcast, is open to all interested stakeholders. Once the stakeholders reach an agreement on mobile application transparency and develop a code of conduct, companies operating in the mobile application space will be able to formally announce their adherence to the code, and their compliance in light of that representation will be subject to enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to section 5 of the FTC Act.