Developers worried about new rules for phone apps

Dec 18, 2012 by Richard Lardner

Developers of smartphone software are bracing for regulations that they say will stifle creativity and saddle small businesses with legal and technical costs.

The changes, which the Federal Trade Commission expects to approve this week, would update a 14-year-old law prohibiting the collection of personal information from preteens.

Businesses say they fear that under the FTC proposal, routine transfers of data that pose no threat to a child's safety will be treated the same as the improper gathering of information. They say responsible software developers will err on the side of caution and the result will be less kid-friendly content available on the Internet.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says "you have to give the benefit of the doubt to privacy" when it comes to children.

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