The creation of the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit reflects growing concern among regulators at both a state and federal level that privacy in the information age hasn't been adequately addressed. A series of online privacy controversies such as Google's bypass of privacy controls in Apple's Safari browser earlier this year and Apple's compilation of unprotected location data on iPhones last year have piqued the interest of lawmakers.
Noting that people now routinely share sensitive personal information on their phones, computers, and over networks, Harris said that consumers must be empowered to understand how personal information gets used so they can make informed decisions about what to disclose.
"The Privacy Unit will police the privacy practices of individuals and organizations to hold accountable those who misuse technology to invade the privacy of others," said Harris in a statement.
[ Read Google Chrome Apps Escape Browser. ]
The Privacy Unit will be part of the eCrimes Unit, formed last in December 2011. It will focus on law enforcement, education, and prompting partnerships with companies to advance privacy.
Sorted by platform, iOS apps were more likely to have privacy policies than Android apps in Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.
Attend Online Marketing Summit 2012, Oct. 22-25, and gather the insights and strategies you need to make the right online marketing choices to deliver the most value for your business. The summit--in Santa Clara, Calif., Oct 22-25--offers four days of inspiration, connections, and practical learning. Register for Online Marketing Summit using code QJBQSA01 and receive a 25% discount on conference passes or a Free Expo Pass.