Mobile App Lobby Turns to Facebook Public Policy Pioneer to Develop Privacy Strategy

Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:09am

Updated: 4:55 p.m.

A 3-month-old trade association for developers of high-tech applications has snagged one of Facebook’s original public policy hires.

Tim Sparapani, a privacy expert who helped the social networking site develop one of the Internet industry’s most robust Washington presences, will become top lobbyist for the Applications Developers Alliance, the group announced today.

The ADA, whose board of directors includes representatives of Google and Research in Motion, expects Sparapani to help its members navigate a thicket of privacy proposals in Congress as lawmakers consider ways to regulate the way mobile apps collect, store and use consumer data.

Sparapani earned a reputation as a fierce privacy hawk as the senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We don’t have an activist policy agenda, but on issues that affect our members, we will be very active,” said Jonathan Potter, the group’s president. “Tim understands innovation and the app ecosystem and the importance of promoting and protecting developers’ interests.”

The ADA will also focus on intellectual property, spectrum allocation, cybersecurity and mobile payments. Its members develop tools such as the photo-sharing Instagram and apps for online poker and other games.

The ADA represents makers of applications for smartphones, tablets and other platforms.

Sparapani is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Michigan Law School. He starts on the new job today.