App Developers–You Must Be Privacy Compliant

Attention App Community! You (too) Must Be Privacy Compliant…

How many of you know the app and gamer types—so focused on creating and innovating the latest games and applications for tablets and smart phones that they lose sight of the real world realities? What about the users—the kids and adults playing the latest version of Angry Birds which has somehow morphed into a cross between Angry Birds and Star Wars? How fantastic, cool and thrilling! Well, let me give you all a dash of cold water. The regulatory world is reviewing you despite your coolness and the removed-from reality vibe, and despite all the fun times you have on your mobile devices…Yep, bring in the Federal Trade Commission which just sent out a really neato info graphic (see link below) you should examine regarding Your Actions. Here is what the agency says to the public, and you should pay attention:

“If you’ve got kids in your life, you’ve probably got a collection of kids’ mobile apps. A new FTC infographic, available in English and Spanish, shows what app developers might be doing — but might not be telling you — and what to consider when downloading an app on your phone or tablet.”

Further, mobile apps are limited purpose software as Techopedia explains Mobile Application (Mobile App)

Mobile applications are a move away from the integrated software systems generally found on PCs. Instead, each app provides limited and isolated functionality such as a game, calculator or mobile Web browsing.

As a provider of software, be aware that the DMA has stringent privacy guidelines for mobile marketing & for app software loaded onto devices so that a user is prepared and aware of the terms and conditions that apply when they download an app.

Some examples:
• A user should be provided notice and choice at the point of collecting data for marketing purposes,
• A user should have notice regarding the effects of such installation onto their device as well as how to uninstall the app,
• You should be providing a link to your privacy policy and providing clear identifying information for the company providing the app so that the user can be in contact.
See http://thedma.org/wp-content/uploads/DMA-Ethics-Guidelines.pdf Articles #42, #54-59.

Further, check out more from the FTC about apps and compliance–you do need to abide by “truth in advertising…” See http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus81-marketing-your-mobile-app

Bottom line–Have fun and innovate—but please come back to review the compliance requirements too. We are here to help, and that is cool, too!

  1. Cory

    April 17, 2013

    Hi there, I’m the publisher of Techopedia. Would you be so kind as to link to the mobile application term as well? We’re more than happy to have you quote us, but would appreciate the attribution.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

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