This week, the U.K.-based GSM Association unveiled voluntary app privacy guidelines, which are being implemented by several major European mobile telephone service operators for their own branded applications.  According to the GSM Association, the companies adopting these guidelines includes Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom – Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and Vodafone.  This development  follows last week’s announcement of an agreement by Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Research in Motion to ensure that mobile device apps that collect personal information contain privacy policies.

The GSM Association guidelines are designed to apply to all parties in the app or service delivery chain that are responsible for collecting and processing a user’s personal information, including developers, device manufacturers, platforms, mobile operators, and advertisers.  The guidelines encourage the development, delivery, and operation of mobile apps that help users understand what personal information an app may access, collect and use; what the information will be used for, and why; and how users may exercise choice and control over this use.

Examples illustrating practices the GSM Association considers compliant and noncompliant with these guidelines are also provided.