Menu Close

Collaboration

We seek to collaborate with various stakeholders to promote our shared goal of improving the digital ecosystem and restore consumer trust. Here are some examples of what we have done so far:

Developers

Developer education on best privacy and security practices is an integral part of ensuring the success of our mission. To advance relations with developers, we work directly with developers to educate them on our findings and to resolve issues our investigations reveal.

  • Our “Dogs That Don’t Bark” series highlights instances when we contact developers and work with them to quietly resolve concerns we found with their app. The series does not name the developer in question, but instead describes the conduct we found and fixed in order to educate others.
  • We are working with Data Catalyst to provide insight into their developer education curriculum and outreach. We also work directly with developers to resolve issues we find.

Platforms

Platforms are best situated to help resolve many of the issues our investigation yields. To advance relations with platforms, we are finalizing protocols that enable IDAC to bring concerns to the platforms and obtain non-public information.

Law Enforcement and Regulators

In rare cases where our investigation reveals widespread or serious misconduct, we refer cases to law enforcement. To advance relations with law enforcement we are scheduling briefings with various State Attorney Generals, The Federal Trade Commission, Hill Staff, and European Data Protection Authorities.

  • We recently referred a popular fertility app, Premom, to the FTC and IL State AG. We subsequently received attention from a bipartisan group of US Senators and briefed Hill Staff on our finding. The DC and CT State AG have also taken interest in our work with respect to Premom.

Academics

We are working with academics to tackle some of the trends that have come out of our investigation. To advance relations with academics we are co-publishing and are presenting our work at global conferences.

  • We presented our report on COVID-19 apps at the Data for Policy Conference, where we discussed the role of data in improving privacy practices during the pandemic.
  • We released an academic paper on a worrisome software development kit, Jiguang’s JPush, on UC Berkeley’s ISI website.
  • We teamed up with Digital Promise to release our report on Ed Tech Apps. Our webinar featured other experts and we discussed ways to promote and protect student privacy during the time of distance learning.