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California cracks down on mobile privacy

California cracks down on mobile privacy In a move aimed at cracking down on mobile privacy, California has asked the developers of `nosy' mobile apps to give a beforehand warning to users in case they intend collecting sensitive personal details from smartphones and tablets.

The crackdown by California comes almost six months after California Attorney General Kamala Harris called for improved privacy protections while initiating discussions with six bigwig firms - Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Research in Motion and Hewlett-Packard - which have played a key role in shaping the mobile computing market.

The discussions between Harris and the six companies had resulted in an agreement which necessitated mobile apps seeking to gather users' personal data to alert the users about their intentions by displaying privacy policies before the installation of the services on mobile devices.

While Harris plans to review the mobile app developers' adherence to the set guidelines, the concerns pertaining to mobile privacy have escalated recently after Google announced a move to amalgamate its privacy policies covering its different services into one common policy --- a move which will give Google to combine users' personal details while selling more online advertising.

Noting that mobile app developers should be forced to think more carefully about their prying actions, Jon Fox - a consumer advocate for the California Public Interest Research Group - said that while having a privacy policy in place is the first pre-requisite of protecting users' personal information, the second step is "making sure the privacy policies are strong."