Press Releases

Yesterday, Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) reintroduced the Email Privacy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, which was previously passed by the House 419-0 in April before stalling in the Senate Judiciary Committee, would require law enforcement to get a warrant before searching emails and online communications stored for more than 180 days or saved in a cloud storage service.

 In response, Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association, released the following statement:

Our electronics communications policy has not kept up with technology. The current law was passed in 1986, before the internet revolution. Consumers now expect documents stored in online folders to have the same privacy rights as those stored in a filing cabinet.

The overwhelming vote in the Judiciary Committee and House of Representatives in 2016 reflected broad support in Congress and throughout the country to modernize outdated data protection laws. It is time we finish the job and update the law

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Today, Apple filed a motion to fight a California judge’s order that requires the company to create a back door to defeat the security features on the iPhone. Apple argued the judge had overstepped her authority and that the FBI’s demands would force the company to write a new “GovOS” to facilitate the hacking of phones.

In response, ACT | The App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed released the following statement:

It’s not just about GovOS. It’s about thousands of insecure GovApps that the government will force app companies to create in the future.

In their action against Apple, the Department of Justice establishes a precedent that would allow it to compel software modification, forcing any company to re-engineer its code to provide government access and undermine the trust of its customers. The ubiquity of software in our lives underscores the alarming scope of government’s attempted overreach in this case.

Small software companies make most of the apps we use on our smartphones everyday. Consumers trust app makers to safeguard their most personal information – how much money they have in the bank, what medications they’ve been prescribed, even who they’re chatting with on a dating app. Through privacy policies and security features like encryption, app companies set contractual agreements to keep their customers’ private data safe.

ACT | The App Association stands with Apple. We are deeply concerned that the government’s request charts a dangerous path that would have a grave impact on app makers, and a chilling effect on innovation. As Apple rightfully began its motion today, this case is not about one isolated iPhone.

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Today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on, “International Conflicts of Law Concerning Cross-border Data Flow and Law Enforcement Requests” featured strong support for modernizing laws that have not kept pace with technology. 

“Today’s hearing showed that Congress must act to update our laws on data storage,” said ACT | The App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed. “Currently, the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) governs how and when law enforcement can access data stored in the cloud. ECPA was drafted when the internet as we know it today didn’t even exist. The outdated law doesn’t account for apps and mobile devices consumers trust to access sensitive work, health, financial or personal information. 

“The American people deserve policies that enable technology companies to innovate, while allowing law enforcement officials to do their job.”

There are solutions. Congress needs to act to modernize our laws, and protect our safety and our privacy. It should pass legislation like the LEADS Act, update MLATs, and support international agreements.

The state of the App Economy is strong. That’s what the State of the App Economy report out today from ACT | The App Association shows. The $120 billion industry continues to grow, creating jobs and revolutionizing how consumers work, play, and manage their health.

State of the App Economy highlights:

Job market

The App Economy is creating jobs across the country. State of the App Economy finds that more than 68 percent of top app companies are hiring, with opportunities extending beyond traditional tech positions. Of the top grossing app companies surveyed, those hiring had an average of 17 open positions.

Geographic diversity

The ease of entry in the app marketplace has led to dramatic growth outside traditional tech centers. More than 82 percent of top app companies are located outside Silicon Valley, and 13 percent are in rural areas.

Size doesn’t matter

Small companies and startups have long dominated revenue rankings and driven innovation in the mobile economy. State of the App Economy finds more than 82 percent of top app makers are small companies.

Opportunities in connected health 

In 2016, connected health technology is poised to revolutionize the $3 trillion healthcare industry. State of the App Economy identifies the top growth areas for companies in the space as: chronic condition management, personal fitness and wellness, and remote patient monitoring.

Importance of digital trade

Digital trade is the lifeblood of App Economy growth. As the biggest digital trade partner for the United States, Europe and the U.S. are inextricably linked. Nearly one-fifth of the top grossing, U.S.-based app companies have operations in Europe, as app makers are poised to earn more than $85 billion in the EU marketplace by 2018.

Access full report.

ACT | The App Association executive director Morgan Reed released the following statement in response to today’s ECPA testimony by the Department of Justice before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The Department of Justice claims it possesses the authority to access data stored abroad — and belonging to a foreign citizen — as long as it is held by an American company. Furthermore, DOJ has claimed in court that it is reasonable to sacrifice our citizens’ private information to any country in the world so that the U.S. can avoid complying with other nation’s privacy protections. This is simply outrageous and something the American public would view as a betrayal.
For American tech companies to remain global leaders, we must be clear with our trading partners that their citizens can store data in their home country with a U.S. company and retain the privacy protections provided by their sovereign government. The bipartisan, bicameral LEADS Act would clarify the law around DOJ’s extraterritoriality claim and address the international question left unresolved by ECPA. This is important for U.S. companies competing in overseas markets — and even more so for every American who doesn’t want rogue nations to have access to their personal information.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Cedar Rapids tech community is attracting national acclaim. Recently named a top city for tech jobs, app industry leaders from across the country have taken note and are coming to Iowa’s Creative Corridor to learn how the community has become a leading center of innovation.

On Monday, ACT | The App Association from Washington, D.C. is teaming up with Iowa Startup Accelerator and Vault Co-working to present Pioneers of Tech. The event will bring together local and national leaders in software development to explore paths to success in the $120 billion app economy.

David Tominsky, program manager of Iowa Startup Accelerator and community manager of Vault Coworking & Collaboration Space: “The Iowa Startup Accelerator and Vault Coworking are excited to partner with ACT | The App Association to bring their Developer Education Series to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A lot of people in Iowa and throughout the Midwest have been working hard to build communities where tech businesses can thrive. This series will bring attention and education to what it takes to succeed in a world where every business benefits from web and mobile technology.”

Josh McNary, founder of McNary Marketing & Design: “App developers entrepreneurs, and innovators are plotting the future with amazing work here in Eastern Iowa. The Pioneers of Tech event highlights this and is an example of the amazing support and encouragement Iowa’s entrepreneurial community has to offer.”

Senator Chuck Grassley will kick off the event, which explores how the Cedar Rapids community fosters innovation and growth.

Senator Chuck Grassley: “Groups like the Iowa Startup Accelerator capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit that has existed in Iowa for generations and provide guidance for Iowa businesses looking to establish themselves in this fast-growing marketplace. We are seeing companies thrive in our state because we have an environment that supports entrepreneurs and fosters innovation. And as Iowans, we work together to help fellow Hawkeye state tech companies succeed.”

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association: “Back in Washington, I’ve heard Senator Grassley speak proudly of the entrepreneurial culture of companies in Iowa. With top app companies flourishing in the Cedar Rapids area, we had to come check it out for ourselves and see how we can help it continue to prosper.”

One of those companies is Higher Learning Technologies, a Coralville-based group that has produced the country’s highest-grossing education app.

Alec Whitters, co-founder and CEO of Higher Learning Technologies: “Without so many people from the Iowa community cheering, mentoring, investing, and partnering with us we would have found it very difficult to get off the ground. Their support and the unique business environment in Iowa has enabled us to grow to a team of 45 that now serves a userbase of over a million users. Entrepreneurship is a community sport and I believe Iowa is the best place in the world we could have chosen for HLT.”

Pear Deck from Iowa City shares similar sentiments about growing a business in Iowa.

Michal Enyon-Lynch, COO and Chief Educator of Pear Deck:”Starting a tech company creates a very busy lifestyle – a lot of stress, a lot of risk, and a lot of new things to figure out everyday. But, living in a relatively small, supportive community like Iowa City makes other parts of my life less stressful. My commute is nearly non-existent, running business and personal errands is easy, and there aren’t many degrees of separation between any two people. It’s also a great place to raise a family and foster meaningful friendships. On top of all those reasons, the Corridor’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has provided tremendous support to help Pear Deck become a thriving, growing company.”

Preceding the event, there will be an award ceremony open to the press. Senator Grassley will join many of the speakers as the App Association will honor the Iowa Startup Accelerator with its App Economy Spotlight award.

Award recipients have made extraordinary contributions in their communities to promote innovation in the app economy. Iowa Startup Accelerator is being recognized for its leadership in creating an environment that facilitates the growth of tech entrepreneurship in the Cedar Rapids area.

WHAT: App Economy Spotlight Award presented to Iowa Startup Accelerator

WHEN: Monday, September 14, 10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

WHERE: Iowa Startup Accelerator, 415 12th Ave SE (2nd floor)

While the award ceremony is open to the press, the ensuing Pioneers of Tech event will follow Chatham House Rules and be closed media. This is to ensure that presenters and attendees can engage in free-flowing, candid conversation and provide valuable guidance for Iowa startups and entrepreneurs.

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The following can be attributed to ACT | The App Association executive director Morgan Reed:

We’re proud to see ACT | The App Association member company AirStrip take to Apple’s big stage today and demo its incredible technology for the Apple Watch. Radically transforming the medical messaging world, patients and physicians can send encrypted, HIPAA-compliant messages with the AirStrip One and AirStrip Sense4Baby apps.

The apps take advantage of the powerful sensors packed inside the Watch, providing doctors with live data on patient vitals – from anywhere. This remote access to data is especially helpful in monitoring newborns.

With AirStrip Sense4Baby on the Apple Watch, an expectant mother and her physician can monitor her heart rate, the fetus’ heart rate, and contractions. The Sense4Baby system allows doctors to monitor mothers-to-be remotely, and give up-to-date information throughout her pregnancy.

AirStrip’s technologies demonstrate how mobile health solutions lead to better care and improved patient outcomes. We look forward to our continued work with this extraordinary company.

Williamette Valley’s booming tech industry is attracting national acclaim. Just last month, Eugene was recognized as a top 10 tech city by industry publication Fast Company. And tomorrow, app industry leaders from around the country will come to Eugene to learn how the community has become a leading center of innovation.

ACT | The App Association from Washington, DC is teaming up with Williamette Valley’s Silicon Shire for an event that brings together regional and national leaders in the mobile economy.

Morgan Reed, executive director of ACT | The App Association: “Through our founding member from Oregon, Mike Sax, we’ve been introduced to Eugene companies that are changing the way the world works, shops, and plays in a mobile environment. We’ve paid close attention to the Williamette Valley’s progress and marveled at its pace of innovation. That’s why we decided to check out the region for ourselves — to explore what entrepreneurs do best here and learn how we can help this community prosper.”

Tomorrow’s event is billed as the Developer Education Series Tech Lunch. The event features speakers from industry leading companies and organizations.

Jake Weatherly, CEO, SheerID: “Companies including Intel, Hewlett Packard, and Nike have long known that Oregon delivers significant business advantages. More recently, innovators like Elemental Technologies, Lytics, Act-On Software and Urban Airship have achieved meteoric growth thanks to their Oregon roots. The Willamette Valley, including Eugene in particular, provides all of the right ingredients to brew the secret sauce that fuels innovation and entrepreneurship – an excellent talent pool, tremendous quality of life, and support in the form of capital, infrastructure, and experienced individuals fostering venture development.”

Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Peter DeFazio will kick off the proceedings, which explore how the Eugene community fosters innovation and growth.

Sen. Ron Wyden: “Eugene is synonymous with innovation in tech, and richly deserves its reputation as one of the top U.S. cities for a segment of the economy that’s so essential to growth here as well as in our state and our country. Through my work on the Internet Tax Freedom Act as well as to defeat PIPA and SOPA, I have worked to create a climate that allows Eugene and all of Oregon to build upon their impressive accomplishments in the tech economy. That work continues with current battles to knock down digital walls built overseas that block the free flow of data.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio: “This area has always been a hub for innovation. But, with a diverse research university, growing small business community, and new investments in start-up accelerators and incubators, Eugene is becoming an entrepreneurship mecca.”

Cale Bruckner, VP, Concentric Sky; Silicon Shire Ambassador: “Silicon Shire is attracting national attention and I’m proud of the recognition our community is receiving. The tech industry is critical to Oregon’s future, and Eugene is a thriving center of mobile innovation and entrepreneurship. There are over 400 tech companies in Lane County, employing nearly 5,000 people, with a payroll of approximately $350 million.

Industry leaders are coming to Tuesday’s event from as far away as the east coast and the Bay Area.

“It’s clear that the world has discovered what we’ve always known,” continued Bruckner. “The Williamette Valley embraces entrepreneurship, providing an environment that fosters innovation. It’s also a great place to live. I know Senator Wyden and Representative DeFazio are as thrilled as I am that ACT | The App Association has joined us to host this event. With such a distinguished group of speakers and attendees, I expect there is much that we can all learn from each other at Tuesday’s event.”

What: Developer Education Series Tech Lunch

Where: Ford Alumni Center, University of Oregon

When: Tuesday, August 25, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Register: http://bit.ly/TechLunchOR

Morning Agenda

10:30 Networking and refreshments

11:00 Opening Remarks:

Cale Bruckner, Silicon Shire Ambassador
Mike Sax, Founder, Wellbeyond
11:10 U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

11:20 U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio

11:40 Roundtable of Eugene Entrepreneurs

Moderator: Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT I The App Association
Pat McCarthy, SVP Marketing, AppNexus
Jake Weatherly, CEO, SheerID
Cale Bruckner, VP, Concentric Sky; Silicon Shire Ambassador
12:10 Lunch

Afternoon Closed Sessions

12:40 Caroline Cummings, Catalyst Manager, RAIN

12:50 Marci Hansen, Co-founder, SheerID

1:00 Pat McCarthy, SVP Marketing, AppNexus

1:10 Kiki Prottsman, Code.org

1:40 Matt Sayre, Director, TAO Eugene

1:50 Dr. Joe Sventek, University of Oregon

1:55 Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT I The App Association

2:00 Event concludes

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Oregon’s booming tech industry is attracting national acclaim. Just last month, Eugene was recognized as a top 10 tech city by industry publication Fast Company. Tomorrow, app industry leaders from around the country will be heading to Eugene to learn how the community has emerged as a leading center of innovation.

ACT | The App Association is teaming up with Oregon’s Silicon Shire for the event which brings together national and regional leaders in the mobile economy.

Morgan Reed, Executive Director, ACT | The App Association: “The App Association hosts Developer Education Series events across the country in communities with emerging tech centers. We introduce startups to elected officials and connect them with industry leaders who help identify the keys to success in the competitive mobile marketplace. Through our founding member Mike Sax from Oregon, we’ve worked with innovative tech companies in Eugene that are changing the way the world works, shops, and plays. We believe the rest of the world should see what’s happening in Eugene. Our event will bring app economy leaders to Oregon to explore how this community can continue to prosper and grow.”

Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Peter DeFazio will headline ACT | The App Association’s latest Developer Education Series event. The event features speakers representing industry leaders and the world’s biggest companies.

Sen. Ron Wyden: “Eugene is synonymous with innovation in tech, and richly deserves its reputation as one of the top U.S. cities for a segment of the economy that’s so essential to growth here as well as in our state and our country. Through my work on the Internet Tax Freedom Act as well as to defeat PIPA and SOPA, I have worked to create a climate that allows Eugene and all of Oregon to build upon their impressive accomplishments in the tech economy. That work continues with current battles to knock down digital walls built overseas that block the free flow of data.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio: “This area has always been a hub for innovation. But, with a diverse research university, growing small business community, and new investments in start-up accelerators and incubators, Eugene is becoming an entrepreneurship mecca.”

Tuesday’s event will also explore the unique features of the Eugene tech community that foster innovation and growth.

Cale Bruckner, VP, Concentric Sky; Silicon Shire Ambassador: “Silicon Shire is attracting national attention and I’m proud of the recognition our community is receiving. The tech industry is critical to Oregon’s future, and Eugene is a thriving center of mobile innovation and entrepreneurship. There are over 400 tech companies in Lane County, employing nearly 5,000 people, with a payroll of approximately $350 million.”

Industry leaders are coming to Tuesday’s event from as far away as the east coast and the Bay Area.

“It’s clear that the world has discovered what we’ve always known,” continued Bruckner. “The Williamette Valley embraces entrepreneurship, providing an environment that fosters innovation. It’s also a great place to live. I know Senator Wyden and Representative DeFazio are as thrilled as I am that ACT | The App Association has joined us to host this event. With such a distinguished group of speakers and attendees, I expect there is much that we can all learn from each other at Tuesday’s event.”

Jake Weatherly, CEO, SheerID: “Companies including Intel, Hewlett Packard, and Nike have long known that Oregon delivers significant business advantages. More recently, innovators like Elemental Technologies, Lytics, Act-On Software and Urban Airship have achieved meteoric growth thanks to their Oregon roots. The Willamette Valley, including Eugene in particular, provides all of the right ingredients to brew the secret sauce that fuels innovation and entrepreneurship – an excellent talent pool, tremendous quality of life, and support in the form of capital, infrastructure, and experienced individuals fostering venture development.”

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Tomorrow, ACT | The App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet for their hearing on the internet of things (IoT). He will discuss the future of health IoT and barriers to innovation.

“Connected health technologies can lead to lowered costs, better care, and improved patient outcomes,” said Reed. “But, questions around privacy, security, reimbursement, and government regulation meet to create an environment where companies are worried about making devices more medically relevant, and physicians worry about the impact on their practices.”

Reed will address how Congress can, and in many cases, must play an important role in improving healthcare in the United States through innovative technologies.

WHAT: Hearing on Internet of Things

WHEN: Wednesday, July 29 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building

WATCH: http://acton.li/1IIV8Y6

Witnesses:

Morgan Reed, 
executive director
, ACT | The App Association

Gary Shapiro, 
president & CEO, Consumer Electronics Association

Dean Garfield, 
president & CEO, Information Technology Industry Council

Mitch Bainwol, president & CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

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Today, Senator Al Franken sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez questioning Apple’s platform and music streaming offerings. In response to Senator Franken’s letter ACT | The App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed released the following statement:

We are disappointed in Senator Franken’s response to Apple’s new music offerings. Senator Franken is out of sync when he asserts that the company’s entrance into the music streaming market is anticompetitive. The mobile app marketplace is one of the most vibrant ecosystems in the world, and the introduction of Apple Music does nothing to make it less competitive. Further, while app makers make more money on Apple’s platform, it occupies a relatively small share of the global market.

As a recent article headline pointed out, “Spotify can’t pay an artist. But they can pay 6 different lobbying firms.” The company’s aggressive lobbying seems disingenuous given that Spotify has already crushed competitors like Sony Music Unlimited, Simfy and is making rapid gains on Pandora. Spotify is playing the defenseless ingenue when it’s really a foreign competitor worth billions. We understand that Spotify is upset that they have a new competitor, but that’s a good thing for consumers.

Senator Franken’s focus on the competitiveness question misses the larger goal – protecting consumers. By requiring all apps sold in Apple’s App Store to abide by the same rules, Apple aligns itself with consumers by taking responsibility for the transactions on its platform. Within the Apple ecosystem, if an in-app purchase or subscription doesn’t work, you can go to Apple to get a refund.

Apple provides a safe, secure marketplace for app makers to thrive. With a strong commitment to privacy, customers trust that their payment information and other sensitive data is kept safe and secure. The company’s move into the streaming music market simply allows them to occupy a moderately-sized space alongside other established services. We plan to provide Senator Franken and others with further guidance on this issue.

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ACT | The App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed will testify before the House Small Business Health and Technology Subcommittee on how apps benefit small businesses, particularly those in underserved communities, on Thursday, July 23.

“The decentralized nature of the app economy makes it more responsive to consumers on a granular level,” said Reed. “This accounts for its dramatic success to date and bodes well for the continued growth of companies that make apps and the small businesses that rely on them.”

Reed will highlight top app resources for small companies and discuss how the industry meets the unique requirements of niche or local marketplaces.

WHAT: Hearing on Modern Tools in a Modern World: How App Technology is Benefitting Small Businesses

WHEN: Thursday, July 23 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: 2360 Rayburn House Office Building

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Today, the White House will honor ACT | The App Association member Amy Gleason as a Precision Medicine “Champion of Change.”

Gleason is the Chief Operating Officer of Tampa-based CareSync, a mobile platform that organizes a patient’s health records across all health systems into a single, comprehensive Health Timeline™. The company’s user-friendly applications empower patients to take control of their healthcare data and experience.

“Frustrations I faced accessing medical data for my sick child inspired me to start CareSync,” said Gleason. “Without a single repository for medical records, doctor’s notes, and tests results, we endured years of missed diagnoses and exorbitant medical record fees. This harrowing experience drove me to create a service that makes it easy for patients to access their medical records.”

The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative was launched earlier this year to enable a new era of medicine through research and technology that empowers patients, researchers, and providers to work together toward development of individualized treatments. Nine individuals will be honored at today’s event.

“ACT | The App Association is proud to have nominated Amy Gleason for this honor,” said App Association VP of Public Affairs Jonathan Godfrey. “Her work and personal experience exemplify the qualities for which Champions of Change and the Precision Medicine Initiative were created. We look forward to our continued work with Amy to help improve patient access to their own critical health data.”

The Champions of Change program will feature remarks by Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese, and Director of National Institutes of Health Francis Collins. The event will be live streamed on the White House Website here on July 8 at 2 p.m. ET. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.

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ACT | The App Association today released its WWDC Preview: The iOS App Economy in advance of Apple’s annual conference June 8th. Since Apple first opened the App Store in 2008, the industry has grown into a $87 billion industry.

The 2015 WWDC preview report found:
  • 40% of top health apps integrate with Apple Watch
  • 77% of top U.S. app companies are located outside Silicon Valley
  • 32% of top app companies were unranked a year ago
 
Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is a powerful device that provides timely notifications and remarkable insights on personal health and fitness. The apps with the most user engagement are tailored for this glance environment. Those apps see a sharp rise in revenues; like Dark Sky and WaterMinder®.
 
Geographic Diversity
80 percent of the top iOS apps come from U.S. companies. While a number of them call Silicon Valley home, that region actually represents a small percentage of this American success story.
 
App Economy
Iteration and development occur at a dramatically accelerated pace in the App Economy. With product cycles that last months instead of years, a steady stream of new entrants constantly challenge incumbents.

Access the full report here.

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InterKnowlogy CEO Emilie Hersh is the newest addition to ACT | The App Association’s Board of Directors. Hersh’s experience spans more than twenty years with tech startups, consulting, and extensive team leadership across a number of industry verticals.

As InterKnowlogy’s Chief Executive Officer she has successfully grown the company to a highly profitable entity, more than doubling revenue while expanding internationally. The company has become a global leader developing interactive software for startups, Fortune 100 clients, global media outlets, and many of the best-recognized brands in the world.

“We are delighted to welcome Emilie Hersh to our Board of Directors,” said ACT | The App Association President Jonathan Zuck. “Her leadership has produced extraordinary achievements in innovation and she’s long been a valuable resource to our organization. Emilie will be a great addition to our team.”

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Next week, 50 top software executives from around the country will travel to Washington to meet with policymakers and regulators about the top tech innovation priorities as part of ACT | The App Association’s 2015 Fly-In.

Over two days, the app makers and mobile entrepreneurs have more than 100 meetings with their elected officials in Congress, the White House, and regulatory agencies to raise concerns about data privacy and security, internet governance, patent reform, and regulatory obstacles to growth.

“The booming mobile economy is dominated by startups and small tech companies that are innovating and creating jobs in every state and district of the country,” said ACT | The App Association executive director Morgan Reed. “Our members are traveling to D.C. to make the case for a government approach to technology policy that fosters innovation and promotes growth in our communities.”

ACT | The App Association founder Mike Sax created the first Fly-In App to keep attendees on top of their schedules and continues to improve it every year. The Fly-In will take place March 22-24.

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ACT | The App Association is pleased to share Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s pledge tobring clarity to HIPAA for the mobile world. In her letter to Congress, Secretary

This morning Reps. Tom Marino and Suzan DelBene introduced the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act) in the House of Representatives. This legislation shows that there is a bipartisan, bicameral commitment to assure the future of American tech companies that operate abroad.

On behalf of ACT | The App Association and the more than 5,000 mobile app and software companies, Executive Director Morgan Reed released the following statement in support of the LEADS Act:

“ACT | The App Association strongly supports the bipartisan introduction of the LEADS Act in the House of Representatives. We have long looked to Reps. Marino and DelBene for leadership on issues facing the tech community and applaud their commitment to improving privacy protections and cross-border data flows.

“Cloud computing is essential to global commerce and has revolutionized how we communicate and access content. American technology companies are leaders in cloud services, both at home and abroad. Yet, our European allies are threatening to ban U.S. cloud providers over concerns that their citizens’ data isn’t safe when stored by companies within reach of the U.S. government.

“Alert to these concerns, the LEADS Act requires law enforcement to treat digital information the same as physical goods: through warrants and information exchange treaties that comply with the law of the country where it resides. The LEADS Act effectively balances the needs of investigators and prosecutors with individual privacy protections. We thank Reps. Marino and DelBene for their leadership and commitment to find a solution for this critical issue.”

Reps. Marino and DelBene will be speaking about the bill at a noon event today in 2203 Rayburn House Office Building.

Today’s lunch briefing, “Privacy a Threat to Companies Abroad?” is hosted by ACT | The App Association, and features IBM, NAM, and Rackspace. The panel will discuss why passage of the LEADS Act is critical for the tech and manufacturing industry. You can find the registration link here.

ACT | The App Association sent a letter of support to Reps. Marino and DelBene that outlines how the LEADS Act strengthens consumer privacy rights, clearly defines the limits for law enforcement and allows technology companies to continue innovating. That letter can be accessed here.

ACT | The App Association also joins a broad coalition of tech companies and association that lend strong support for the LEADS Act. That letter can be accessed here.

Learn more about the LEADS Act here.

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Today Senator Orrin Hatch announced he will introduce the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act). This legislation is critical for the future of American companies that provide or use cloud services abroad.

On behalf of ACT | The App Association and the more than 5,000 mobile app and software companies, Executive Director Morgan Reed released the following statement in support of the LEADS Act:

“We applaud Senator Hatch for his leadership on issues facing the tech community and are proud to lend strong support for the LEADS Act. The legislation brings long overdue clarity to the treatment of stored communications, and goes a long way to protect individual privacy rights on a global scale.

“Cloud computing is at the heart of the digital revolution, vastly improving the way we handle information technology, conduct business, and consume media. American technology companies are leaders in cloud services, both at home and abroad. Yet, our European allies are threatening to ban American cloud service providers over concerns that their citizens’ data isn’t safe when stored by companies within reach of U.S. law enforcement. The LEADS Act prevents this from happening.

“The comprehensive legislation provides a much-needed legal framework by which data can be accessed abroad, updating and strengthening the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process. Passage of the bill will effectively balance the needs of investigators and prosecutors with individual privacy protections. The future of the innovation economy requires trust from our trading partners and clearly defined limits for law enforcement. The LEADS Act does just that.”

ACT | The App Association sent a letter of support to Senator Hatch that outlines how the LEADS Act strengthens consumer privacy rights, clearly defines the limits for law enforcement and allows technology companies to continue innovating. That letter can be accessed here.

ACT | The App Association is also part of a broader coalition of technology companies and associations that have lent strong support for the LEADS Act. The group’s joint statement can be accessed here.

Our members are protecting app sales abroad by supporting the LEADS Act. Advocate for consumer privacy rights and legal clarity for stored communications here.

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ACT | The App Association is proud to announce its support for The Startup Act of 2015, introduced by Senators Jerry Moran and Mark Warner. The bill would go a long way to reduce barriers to growth for startups and small companies, encourage investment in new businesses, and create a visa program to fuel economic growth. The tech industry faces a dramatic shortage of software developers and engineers, and passage of this legislation would provide startups with much needed access to talent. The App Association’s letter of support can be accessed here.

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ACT | The App Association is pleased to share Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell’s pledge tobring clarity to HIPAA for the mobile world. In her letter to Congress, Secretary Burwell committed to working with The App Association to make the regulatory environment better for mobile health companies.

Secretary Burwell’s pledge came as a response to Congressmen Tom Marino and Peter DeFazio, who outlined several steps HHS should take to update HIPAA guidance documents last fall. This followed outreach from The App Association and leading mobile health companies, who called on Congress to bring clarity to HIPAA. Congressmen Marino and DeFazio were quick to lend their support on the issue, as both have long been champions of mobile innovation and are looked to as leaders on issues facing the tech industry.

The commitment from both Congress and HHS underscores that changes to HIPAA guidances can be made without legislation. Mobile health companies must know how HIPAA applies, and The App Association will continue working to create a better regulatory environment that encourages innovation in this life-changing marketplace.

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ACT | The App Association is proud to announce its support for the Immigration Innovation (I-Squared) Act of 2015 introduced by Senators Hatch, Klobuchar, Rubio, Coons, Flake, and Blumenthal. The bill would bring desperately needed reforms to the United States’ immigration laws for high-skilled workers, particularly when it comes to education. This is a critical issue facing the app industry, as well as the larger tech community, and we look forward to working with the Senators on this.

The App Association’s letter of support can be accessed here.

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The app economy was born in 2008 with the introduction of the first App Store. Six years, millions of apps, and billions of dollars later, the ecosystem continues to grow at a dramatic rate.

“We’ve published an annual study on the app economy since the House Energy and Commerce Committee first asked us for one in 2012,” said The App Association’s Jonathan Godfrey.  “Our latest work reveals that the past twelve months have been an extraordinary period for app companies. Small companies and startups are leading a booming app industry that is growing and creating jobs throughout all regions of the country.”

The data comes from the 650 top grossing apps in the two biggest app stores across six categories. Each app was analyzed by location, company size and employment opportunities. The comprehensive study also features specialized sections that delve into the explosive growth of health and medical apps, kids apps, China’s App Store, and Microsoft’s government app category.

The full study from ACT | The App Association can be accessed here.

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ACT | The App Association today launched the new Moms With Apps parent-facing site. It features a powerful new search tool to help families find the right apps for their kids, including those without ads, in-app purchases, or links to social networks.

The App Association has long worked with Moms With Apps, guiding its growth from a loose-knit group of developers to a 1,500 member organization. Over the past three years, we collaborated on creating industry best practices for kids’ app privacy and established the Know What’s Inside® transparency program.

Now, Moms With Apps is launching a parent-facing site that will revolutionize the way families, app makers, and technology intersect. This first-of-its-kind resource gives parents granular search tools to find the right apps suited to each child’s individual needs. It was also made with parents’ concerns in mind. At the Moms With Apps website, parents and educators can filter apps based on privacy settings, subject matter, in-app purchases, and age range. They can also meet the developers, all of whom provide a description of their company.

“With more than one million apps, multiple platforms and myriad mobile devices, parents are inundated with too many choices and too little information,” said the group’s director Sara Kloek. “Moms With Apps solves both of those problems with a simple navigation interface that allows parents to choose apps for their kids based on what’s inside.”

Holding app makers to a higher standard than what the law requires has been a key element of Moms With Apps membership. Its commitment to promoting apps that parents approve led the group to begin curating a collection from trusted developers.

“The App Association has been at the forefront of kids app privacy issues and is pleased to support this incredible resource,” said App Association Executive Director Morgan Reed. “Moms With Apps empowers parents giving them greater control over the types of apps their children use. It will be a game changer in the kids’ app space.”

Moms With Apps features parent-approved apps on the Amazon, Android, Apple, and Windows platforms at http://momswithapps.com.

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ACT | The App Association and leading mobile health companies today called on Congress to adopt a more sensible implementation of health privacy laws. This is urgently needed since uncertainty around how existing regulation applies in the mobile environment means advances in mobile health technology are slow to reach consumers.

The group highlighted several areas where federal agencies can adopt practices to eliminate uncertainty and simplify compliance with regulatory obligations. While there has been an enormous amount of innovation in mobile health, outdated regulatory guidance causes hurdles for developers and prevents new entrants to the space.

The App Association and five co-authors sent this letter to Rep. Tom Marino, who has been active on issues involving the mobile app industry. The group looks forward to working with him and other members of Congress on this issue.

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“Today marks a seminal moment in Apple history and the future of the mobile economy,” said App Association executive director Morgan Reed. “The announcements from Cupertino are reminiscent of groundbreaking launches like the iPod and the iPhone. Except for one thing.

“There isn’t just one thing. Apple did more today than introduce a new device. The announcements today will reshape the industry and revolutionize how we stay healthy, pay for transactions, interact with our home, as well as tell time.

“Years from now, we may look back on today as the date when the mobile health revolution began. Or when wallets became a thing of the past. Or when consumers took control of their digital lives.

“Apple didn’t just launch new products today. It gave us a glimpse of the future that is now upon us. And it’s amazing.”

Apple Pay

The idea behind mobile payments is not a new one. What has limited the growth of mobile device transactions is the lack of widespread adoption from retailers and financial institutions. Just as with the iPod launch, Apple secured partnerships with major industry leaders to benefit the most consumers. With American Express, Visa, and MasterCard signed on as well as many leading retailers, more than 80 percent of users can make seamless payments from their iPhone or Apple Watch. With Touch ID integration, consumers can be confident their Apple Pay transactions will be private, safe, and secure.

Apple Watch

While others have tried to make a digital watch do more than tell time, none have succeeded in captivating consumers like Apple has. Anticipation for what Cupertino was planning has been mounting because they make devices we’ve just got to have – and with Apple Watch they didn’t disappoint. Its design is simply stunning and its functionality is unmatched. App developers are excited about the opportunity to use WatchKit to extend their apps onto such an incredible device. There’s no question why Apple invited so much of the fashion world cognoscenti to be on hand for this unveiling. Without a doubt, this is on everyone’s wish list now.

Health

Devices take a lot of attention at product launches, but what may be just as significant is what these can do in the healthcare space. With the watch launch and new sensors on the phone, Apple has laid down a marker as a leading mobile health innovator right out of the gate. With sensors to measure heart rate, activity and elevation working with apps that monitor progress and provide encouragement, Apple Watch is designed to help users meet fitness goals to lead a healthier life. All of this data is stored the iOS 8 Health app for users to access in a safe and secure environment.

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ACT | The App Association and Moms With Apps welcome Cupcake Digital as the 200th company to join the Know What’s Inside® program. Launched last July, the Know What’s Inside® program recognizes kids app companies that meet high standards for transparency and privacy.  One of the largest independent developers of apps for children, Cupcake Digital transforms children’s entertainment properties into delightful storybook, learn & play and creative play apps infused with teaching moments.

The Know What’s Inside® program from Moms With Apps is dedicated to helping family-friendly app companies implement best practices around privacy and comply with federal privacy rules enacted last July.  The program provides developers with guidance on best practices and requires each developer to meet those standards to qualify for the Know What’s Inside® seal.

“We are thrilled to join Moms With Apps and ACT as the 200th company admitted to the Know What’s Inside® program,” said Cupcake Digital CEO Brad Powers. “The Moms With Apps community of developers has been a valuable resource. Cupcake Digital connects children with their favorite programming in a mobile environment that values privacy first and foremost. ACT and Moms With Apps have been leaders in promoting these values and we’re proud to stand with them.”

“We started the Know What’s Inside® program to build on the Moms With Apps community of parent app developers sharing their experiences in the kids app marketplace,” said Sara Kloek of Moms With Apps. “It provides a valuable platform for discussion about what app companies need to do to meet the standards of an evolving legal framework. MWA is an organization of app makers who are parents first and developers second. Cupcake Digital exemplifies that spirit and we are pleased to welcome them as our 200th Know What’s Inside® company.”

“We are pleased to welcome Cupcake Digital as the newest member of ACT|The App Association,” said ACT executive director Morgan Reed. “Having helped kids app developers across the country adopt best practices and meet legal requirements, we are excited to bring on board a company like Cupcake Digital that epitomizes our commitment to privacy and transparency.”

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The Mobile Medical App (MMA) Roadshow comes to Palo Alto tomorrow to provide investors and software companies guidance about the emerging digital health industry. ACT, CEA, CTIA, and other leaders in the mobile marketplace will be joined by the FDA Senior Advisor Bakul Patel to discuss how the new regulatory environment provides significant marketplace opportunities.

ACT represents over 5,000 app makers and tech companies from around the country advocating for policies that promote innovation. As the leading medical app association, ACT has consistently advocated for regulatory clarity in the mobile health marketplace to foster industry growth. Many venture capital firms and software development companies have sought clear guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before financing new mobile health projects.

“ACT has worked with the FDA over the past two years in pursuit of clear rules of the road for medical apps,” said ACT executive director Morgan Reed.  Reed also serves as the Legal and Policy Chair for the mobile arm of the leading health IT association, HIMSS. “There are a number of projects in the pipeline that have the potential to greatly improve health care delivery for both patient and provider. The FDA’s new guidance was the final piece of the puzzle necessary to begin the next wave of innovation in mobile health.”

Late last year, the FDA identified which categories of apps would, or would not, be regulated when it issued its Final Guidance on Mobile Medical Apps. This provided a much improved understanding of the regulatory environment allowing stalled projects and new innovation to proceed.

“A few companies had projects underway and have moved quickly with innovative new health care solutions,” said Reed.  “ACT member company Ideomed created an asthma app, Abriiz, which has reduced children’s ER visits by eighty percent. The app improves patient health while lowering the costs borne by insurers. Carriers have even begun supplying Medicaid patients with free smartphones to use the app because the benefits are so great.

“What makes this marketplace so compelling is that mobile health apps are dramatically improving patient outcomes. Innovation happening right now will soon help us live healthier lives.”

To attend tomorrow’s event, click here to register.

Future locations in the Mobile Medical Apps Roadshow:

January 31, 2014 | University of Texas at Austin

March 20, 2014 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

May 6-8, 2014 | mHealth Europe Summit

June 12-13, 2014 | HIMSS Innovation Center

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ACT today published a white paper identifying some of the risks surrounding domain name collisions arising from the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs).  The report — The Impact of Domain Name Collisions: A Business Perspective — follows up on the association’s work organizing industry efforts to highlight concerns with the pending changes.

“ACT has been closely monitoring the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program at ICANN,” said ACT president Jonathan Zuck.  “Attentive to risks and opportunities, we find that domain collisions continue to raise concerns and could have broad implications for online networks spanning the globe.  Particularly worrisome is the potential for collisions caused by intranets designed around strings that will now be part of the public DNS, such as .OFFICE.

“We had extensive discussions with our member companies to review a range of scenarios resulting from the new domains.  We felt it was critical to publish our findings because collisions could have a disruptive impact on member companies and their customers.  Our white paper outlines the concerns we identified and provides the business prospective on domain name collisions.”

Industry outreach to ICANN has begun to bear fruit.  In November, ACT led a business community effort to raise specific collision concerns.  ICANN responded by creating a resource page on name collisions, including a paper with suggestions for mitigating the risk of such collisions.  It has also initiated a number of efforts to identify sources of risk and possibilities for mitigation.  These activities will culminate in a London conference featuring a competition for research in this area.

ACT and the business community will continue to monitor these developments and offer guidance to ICANN on how best to respond to issues arising from the new gTLDs.

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The Mobile Medical App (MMA) Roadshow kicks off in Chicago tomorrow to provide guidance to investors and software companies across the country about the emerging digital health industry. ACT is joined in the MMA Roadshow by mobile industry leaders CEA, CTIA, and others hosting a series of events across the country highlighting new marketplace opportunities.

As the leading medical app association, ACT has consistently advocated for regulatory clarity in the mobile health marketplace to foster industry growth. Many venture capital firms and software development companies have sought clear guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before financing new mobile health projects.

“ACT has worked with the FDA over the past two years in pursuit of clear rules of the road for medical apps,” said ACT executive director Morgan Reed.  Reed also serves as the Legal and Policy Chair for the mobile arm of the leading health IT association, HIMSS. “There are a number of projects in the pipeline that have the potential to greatly improve health care delivery for both patient and provider. The FDA’s new guidance was the final piece of the puzzle necessary to begin the next wave of innovation in mobile health.”

Late last year, the FDA identified which categories of apps would, or would not, be regulated when it issued its Final Guidance on Mobile Medical Apps. This provided a much improved understanding of the regulatory environment allowing stalled projects and new innovation to proceed.

“A few companies had projects underway and have moved quickly with innovative new health care solutions,” said Reed.  “ACT member company Ideomed created an asthma app, Abriiz, which has reduced children’s ER visits by eighty percent. The app improves patient health while lowering the costs borne by insurers. Carriers have even begun supplying Medicaid patients with free smartphones to use the app because the benefits are so great.

“What makes this marketplace so compelling is that mobile health apps are dramatically improving patient outcomes. Innovation happening right now will soon help us live healthier lives. I’m excited to see what Chicagoland companies are working on to bring these benefits to the people of Illinois.”

To attend tomorrow’s or a future event, click here to register.

January 16, 2014 | University of Illinois at Chicago

January 23, 2014 | Johns Hopkins University

January 27, 2014 | University of California San Diego

January 28, 2014 | Stanford University

January 31, 2014 | University of Texas at Austin

March 20, 2014 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

May 6-8, 2014 | mHealth Europe Summit

June 12-13, 2014 | HIMSS Innovation Center

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ACT is providing access to the FTC’s COPPA FAQs, unavailable during the government shutdown, by publishing them on its ACT 4 Apps website. App makers require access to this information in order to meet federal guidelines. ACT Executive Director Morgan Reed issued the following statement announcing the restored access of the FAQs.

While the country waits for Washington to end the government shutdown, the American people have lost access to critical resources.  One of the shutdown’s casualties is the FTC’s guidelines for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Known as the COPPA FAQs, these are the FTC’s responses to implementation questions posed by app developers.  Once featured on the FTC website, this resource is no longer available.

ACT has long worked with developers making children’s apps by providing guidance and tools to meet high standards for privacy.  We have led industry self-regulatory efforts as exemplified in our Moms With Apps Know What’s Inside™ program.  Praised by the FTC in its Mobile Privacy Report, ACT’s Moms With Apps members have set a high bar for transparency and privacy when creating family-friendly apps for kids.

Developers are continuing to make amazing applications that change children’s lives.  Therefore, ACT has stepped in today to help app makers meet the high standards of privacy expected by parents.

The COPPA FAQs may be found here.

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Association for Competitive Technology Executive Director Morgan Reed was named Chair of the Legal and Policy Task Force of mHIMSS, the leading mobile health IT organization. mHIMSS is the mobile component of the Health Information and Management Systems Society, a 52,000-member global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology.

“It’s an honor to be named Legal and Policy Task Force Chair at mHIMSS during such an exciting period of growth in mobile health technology,” said Reed.  “As Chair, I plan to promote best practices and healthcare models that increase patient awareness and engagement with providers.  I will use my position at ACT, the leading mobile app organization, to advocate for a legislative and regulatory environment that advances the pace of innovation in mobile health services. By increasing interoperability between mobile devices and anchored health systems, we will improve efficiency and patient outcomes.”

Innovative companies in the health IT industry voiced their approval of the appointment.

“We are pleased that mHIMSS has chosen Morgan Reed to lead its Legal and Policy Task Force,” said InterKnowlogy CEO Emilie Hersh. “Morgan’s success advocating for tech industry priorities, combined with his insight on mobile healthcare technology, make him the ideal choice for this position. InterKnowlogy has created some of the most cutting edge applications in health IT including the Touches O.R. and Kinect Rehabilitation. Morgan’s mHIMSS appointment will help companies like ours achieve greater success improving patient care.”

“mHIMSS’ appointment of Morgan Reed to Chair its Legal and Policy Task Force is good news for the mobile health industry,” said Ideated CEO Keith Trophy. “Through his work at ACT representing the mobile app industry, Morgan has brought attention to important issues facing the mHealth marketplace. This has been beneficial to my company, Ideated, and our Abriiz platform of app-based chronic condition management tools, which we were able to demo before a Congressional hearing on mobile health apps. I look forward to our future engagement with mHIMSS on the legal and policy priorities that are critical to our industry.”

mHIMSS will be leading the mHealth Summit in December 2013.  Previous keynote speakers include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, America’s first CTO Aneesh Chopra, and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.

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The Kids App Store is a groundbreaking resource being introduced today with the iOS 7 launch. Parents and educators have found iOS devices to be incredibly effective learning tools. Academic institutions are increasingly implementing one-to-one programs and incorporating tablets in classrooms from kindergarten through university.

Apple unveils its latest education release today at 10am Pacific Time, but ACT and Moms With Apps has an early preview of the apps approved for the Kids category of the App Store here.

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Association for Competitive Technology Executive Director Morgan Reed today released the following statement in response to recent media reports that Apple’s new iTunes service options will allow children under the age of thirteen to sign up for education accounts.

“The new update to iTunes allowing preteens to sign up for education accounts will dramatically improve the learning environment for schoolchildren,” said ACT Executive Director Morgan Reed. “The interactivity of the iPad’s touchscreen keeps children engaged in the classroom. Its intuitive interface is simple for even the youngest students to grasp. A curated education platform for kids is the responsible way to allow those under thirteen to benefit from these learning tools.

“Requiring verifiable parental consent means that parents are able to give their children access to the resources of Apple devices with a clear understanding of what data Apple collects from their children and how it is used. This allows classroom instruction to be more productive while providing a framework for the growing education app marketplace.

“Apple’s new Mobile Device Management (MDM) options for iOS 7 provides both teachers and developers a powerful platform to deliver educational tools to children. MDM allows teachers to control access to apps on classroom iPads, restricting students to lesson plan apps. This same service allows app developers to make bulk sales to academic institutions through the App Store Volume Purchase Program.”

ACT has witnessed the success of tablet education firsthand as over 1500 of its members have combined to form Moms With Apps. Working within ACT, this group has spearheaded the Know What’s Inside™ initiative.

“As more schools are embracing the benefits of educational apps through one-to-one programs, school administrators and families want the best apps that are safe for kids and transparent in their data practices,” continued Reed. “The Know What’s Inside™ initiative was created by kids app makers who are parents first and education developers second. Know What’s Inside™ awards its trusted logo to kids app developers that meet the highest standards for education, privacy, and transparency.”

Research has demonstrated the extraordinary benefits of tablet learning throughout the country:

Becker, MN

23% increase in MCA 6th grade math score from previous year

Additional achievement gained in GPA in high school 1:1 program, including 250 more A’s and B’s

– 2012-13 Annual Report

Instructional Technology in

Becker Public Schools

Riverside, CA

Jay McPhail, Riverside Unified’s director of instructional technology, said 90.5 percent of students using iPads are testing as proficient or above on benchmark tests, compared with 60 percent in other classes.

– eSchool News

Charleston, SC

At the end of the school year, 83% of students read above their grade level using the iPads in the classroom. This was a dramatic increase from the previous year when that figure was 39% without iPads.

– Kristi Meeuse, Kindergarten Teacher

Drayton Hall Elementary

Rochester, NY

“Children [are coming] from a wide variety of background and countries, but almost any of them can pick up an iPad and naturally figure out how to use it.”

– Kristi Ziehl, Program Specialist, Rochester Institute of 

Technology’s Information and Technology Services

Wake Forest, NC

“There is early evidence that the use of the iPad has resulted in a higher engagement rate while in class, and extended the connection time with the content to moments well beyond the normal class time.”

– David Mahaley, Principal, Franklin Academy 

High School, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Highland Park, IL

Pilot staff reported that the use of the iTechnology in their classrooms has been highly successful. Found students to be more motivated and on task with the iPad. Most students were easily able to access the iPad, even those who experience difficulty with physically accessing other tools.

– Carrie F. De La Cruz, Ph.D.

Northern Suburban Special Education District

Highland Park, Illinois

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Supported by Apple, BlackBerry, Facebook, TRUSTe, Flurry and others; Testing Will Focus on Maximizing User and Developer Understanding

ACT 4 Apps along with TRUSTe and Flurry, today announced plans to undertake the testing needed for adoption of the NTIA Multistakeholder Mobile Privacy Code of Conduct.

Last Thursday, after sixteen meetings over the course of a year, multistakeholder participants acknowledged that testing would be needed to ensure the code’s effectiveness. ACT 4 Apps will conduct a consumer and developer testing program to provide answers to the remaining open questions so that the resulting notices effectively communicate with consumers.

“Through extensive discussion we reached consensus on the data collection and sharing practices that should be disclosed to our users,” said ACT President Jonathan Zuck.  “There was also strong support for a consistent and predictable interface.  The NTIA process has been incredibly beneficial and we believe strongly in the code.  Therefore, we and our partners are committing resources to put the code in front of consumers and developers. We want to ensure it works for them so that we can strongly endorse this code with our community going forward.”

“At the beginning of the year, we introduced a prototype display built upon modern user experience principles. We were encouraged by the broad support it received from developers, the usability and design community, and privacy experts. Our goal in the testing process is to ensure that disclosures are easy to digest, understand, and interact with on smartphones and tablets.”

“BlackBerry consumers place a high value on privacy,” said Alec Saunders, VP for BlackBerry Developer Relations. “BlackBerry World is a curated content store that provides apps that meet these high standards.  We are pleased to support the work that ACT is undertaking to ensure that we can best inform customers about app privacy.”

“The mobile notices being contemplated by the NTIA code will not only inform, but also educate consumers about what types of data is being collected and with whom it is being shared,” said TRUSTe Director of Policy, Saira Nayak. “However, this can only be effective if consumers understand what is being conveyed to them. That is why we are supporting ACT’s work to incorporate consumer testing to ensure that users clearly benefit from the code.”

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