The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned the makers of six apps that they may be violating US consumer privacy guidelines, and is encouraging the developers to “review their apps and their policies and procedures” to ensure they comply with the necessary regulations.
The watchdog said that it warned the companies involved that if they have reason to believe that the apps are being used for “employment screening, housing, credit, or other similar purposes,” they must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This is designed to protect the privacy of customer report information, and ensure that information supplied by agencies is accurate.
It was noted that some of the apps include criminal record histories, which is “precisely the type of information that is typically used in employment and tenant screening.”
The FTC has previously taken action against app developers in the healthcare market, after “baseless claims” were made about products. It has also acted on privacy issues related to the use of mobile apps, particularly by children.