Mobile app firms settle NYAG claims over data disclosure shortfalls

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two mobile application developers will more clearly inform users how they collect personal information, as part of a settlement of claims by New York’s attorney general that they failed to disclose their data collection practices in privacy policies.

AB Mobile Apps LLC and Bizness Apps Inc have already added privacy policies to their apps, or otherwise removed the apps from Apple and Google platforms so they can no longer be downloaded, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Thursday.

The settlements were announced three days after Vizio Inc agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle federal and New Jersey regulatory charges that the maker of Internet-connected televisions collected and sold viewing data without consent.

Schneiderman said his office did not find that AB Mobile and Bizness misused customers’ personal information or disclosed it to third parties, but called the failure to disclose collection practices in privacy policies a deceptive trade practice. He said both companies responded promptly to his office’s probe.

The settlement covers apps such as AB Mobile’s “Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer,” “Couple Counseling & Chatting” and “Chiropractic Help,” and Bizness’ “My Mechanic,” “Top Flight Elite Basketball” and “Tacolicious,” the attorney general said.