Yes, You too Mobile App Operators!

While some mobile app operators might be tempted to forego posting a privacy policy in their mobile app interface, making a privacy policy available to consumers is actually required by state and federal law. Furthermore, it makes sense from a customer-relations perspective to keep your mobile app users informed, via your privacy policy, concerning the types of personally identifiable information that you collect, how you use that information, to whom you disclose that information and the security measures employed to protect that information. Beyond that imperative, a well-written privacy policy can form a key feature of your online business strategy.

Do I Really Need a Privacy Policy for My App Users?

Mobile App Privacy Policy Concerns

Mobile apps can pose unique privacy issues due to the nature of certain mobile app functionality. For instance, a mobile app privacy policy should address to what extent, if any, the app tracks a user’s geolocation. Further, it is essential that users be afforded the ability to make informed decisions about whether or not to permit such geolocation tracking, where applicable. In light of this, mobile app operators that wish to utilize geolocation tracking should provide users with an easy means to opt out of such tracking. In addition, mobile app privacy policies should specify what, if any, mobile device-specific information the app operator collects.

Monetize Your Mobile App

Ensuring that your mobile app privacy policy contains the proper disclosures, and obtaining valid consumer consent where applicable, can help mobile app operators build a database of engaged users that may provide a valuable revenue stream. With the right privacy policy in place, and other consent language included at the point of data collection, mobile app operators can endeavor to monetize user data through e-mail marketing and, where permitted by law, mobile/text message marketing, to the user base. However, if a mobile app operator does not properly inform users of its intention to use their data for marketing purposes, any attempt to do so would likely violate applicable law.

While properly collected data from informed users may provide your business with a valuable source of revenue, the practice of collecting and storing data also imposes a responsibility on you and your employees to safeguard such data. Various state and federal statutes require that you distribute to your employees a written policy on data security procedures, and that you notify users in case of any breach of security with respect to their data.

Your Mobile App Privacy Policy Should Work for You

Due to the complex regulatory framework governing the collection, use and sharing of personally identifiable information – and given the potential financial benefits that can be derived from a database of consumer information – it makes good business and legal sense to craft a mobile app privacy policy that is tailored to the needs of your business, and that provides your mobile app visitors with the information that they require to make informed decisions about their personal data and how it is used.