Mobile Technology

FTC Targets Google, Apple for Mobile App Privacy

Threatening to stifle growth


As the government clamps down on alleged privacy violations by mobile applications, Google Inc., Apple Inc. (AAPL) and legions of software developers are girding for fines and rules that analysts say threaten to stifle growth.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which this month fined Path Inc., a social-networking site, $800,000 for unauthorized collection of user data, is investigating a rising number of mobile apps for privacy violations. California Attorney General Kamala Harris is stepping up scrutiny of app makers, and congressional lawmakers are planning legislation that would require programmers to bolster disclosure and data protection.