Senator calls for smartphone app privacy policies

By the Associated Press | May 25, 2011 | 4:14 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key member of the Senate Judiciary Committee is challenging Apple and Google to require all outside developers that make apps for their mobile devices to adopt formal privacy policies.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., sent letters Wednesday to the companies asking that all such applications have "clear and understandable privacy policies." Such policies would tell users what personal information the app collects and how that information is used and potentially shared.

Franken said that with the popularity of the iPhone, iPad and Android phones, Apple and Google are in "unique position to influence the market for apps and protect users' privacy within that market."

Neither company immediately responded to requests for comment.