The Association for Competitive Technology welcomed forty of our app developer members to Washington, DC to meet with the White House, Congress, and the Federal Trade Commission. Our message is simple. The pace of innovation that is taking place right now in the app economy is remarkable. Washington should avoid taking steps that would unnecessarily hinder the continued growth of our industry.Mobile app developers are part of a brand new marketplace that didn’t even exist four years ago. It is now a $20 billion industry. And the mobile app economy is primarily comprised of small businesses. Even the most successful apps are nimble small companies. The photo app Instagram that was recently acquired by Facebook for $1 billion has only twelve employees.
There are many other Instagrams out there waiting to succeed, but in order for the app economy to continue to grow we need more spectrum to meet the rising demand for mobile connectivity. Additionally, developers need make sure their apps aren’t stolen or copied in foreign app stores. And the big issue that is on everyone’s mind is privacy. We need to make sure we get privacy right so that users are secure in sharing what they are comfortable with in a way that doesn’t undermine the internet economy.
The administration is pursuing a Bill-of-Rights-style approach to privacy. As the association created by developers for developers, ACT ensures that the voices of app makers continue to be a part of this discussion. We are pleased that thirty of our Fly-In members were invited to the White House to meet with the Deputy Chief Technology Officer. In our meeting, he expressed the administration’s commitment to pursue a multistakeholder process to address privacy that requires the participation of the small business app developer community. As the administration tackles the issue of privacy, we pledge to work together to find solutions that protect consumer privacy and allow the app marketplace to grow.
These are issues that the federal government is facing. Having app developers come to Washington to educate lawmakers and regulators about the app industry can help them make the right decisions about our future. Hopefully, an informed Congress will help our developer members continue to flourish.