Top six computer outfits sign anti-spy accord

Six computer consumer computer companies have agreed to tell people whether they are snooping on you before you download applications.

The agreement forces Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, and Hewlett-Packard to explain how they use private data before an app may be downloaded.

According to Reuters, the deal has been brokered by California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris  who appears to have twisted their arms until they agreed to common standards.

Harris said that users should not have to sacrifice personal privacy to use mobile apps.

More than two thirds of most downloaded apps do not have privacy notices, said Harris. Some downloaded apps also upload peoples’ contact book.

Google said in a statement that under the California agreement, Android users will have “even more ways to make informed decisions when it comes to their privacy.”

Apple confirmed it has signed up but did not give any details. Jobs’ Mob has been in a bit of hot water lately after it was discovered that an approved Apple add was more likely to steal data than one that had not.

The Attorney General has said that the State will sue under California’s unfair competition and false advertising laws if developers continue to publish apps without privacy notices.