The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner ("OAIC") has released a privacy guide for developers of mobile apps (available here).  The guide responds to concerns from a growing number of Australians who are choosing not to use mobile apps due to concerns about how their personal information is, or may be, used.

Since there is no specific guidance from the OPC about mobile app privacy and there are similarities between the privacy regimes in New Zealand and Australia, the guide is a useful tool for developers and their legal counsel on this side of the Tasman. 

Some of the OAIC's key recommendations are that:

  • Mobile apps should use short form privacy notices to make them easier to read on smaller screens.
  • An app's privacy implications should be described in a way that users can understand, so that informed consent can be given (for example, in-text notices which tell users what will happen with their information in real time).
  • App developers may wish to follow a "checklist for app developers" that is appended to the guide.