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Mobile Apps: Respecting Users’ Rights

Federal Trade Commission seal

From time to time, developers inquire about best practices in marketing their mobile apps and protecting users’ privacy. Last month the Federal Trade Commission expressed its opinion on these issues (Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right from the Start).

On the marketing side, the FTC has two guidelines:

  • Tell the truth about what your app can do.
  • Disclose key information clearly and conspicuously (make sure that users actually notice your disclosures and are able to understand them).

As concerns privacy, guidelines include:

  • Be transparent about your data practices.
  • Offer choices that are easy to find and easy to use.
  • Honor your privacy promises.
  • Protect kids’ privacy (including the obligation to obtain parental consent for users under 13 years old).
  • Collect sensitive information only with consent.
  • Keep user data secure.

The FTC has four recommendations concerning data security:

  1. Collect only the data you need;
  2. Secure the data you keep by taking reasonable precautions against well-known security risks;
  3. Limit access to a need-to-know basis; and
  4. Safely dispose of data you no longer need.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510-547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
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