How to Link Your Privacy Policy to Your Mobile App

James Chiodo, Certified Information Privacy Professional CIPP/US

Mobile application privacy policyAs new privacy laws are passed, they have been followed by an increase in enforcement actions and fines by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of California against mobile app developers because of privacy violations. The problem is many of the mobile apps gather information about the user that is not disclosed in the developer’s privacy policy.

And as of the posting of this blog, only 50% of mobile apps had a direct link to their privacy policy from their page in the app store. Even fewer developers had a link to their privacy policy within their mobile app or on their website.

Some of the links to the mobile app privacy policies examined by the FTC were in difficult to find places on the app developer’s webpage or within their mobile app. In the case of mobile apps designed for children, it makes it hard for parents to find and review the privacy policy, which is of no help to the parents who are trying to find out exactly what kind of information a mobile app collects about their child.

In addition, this lack of transparency violates FTC regulations about the “Clear and Conspicuous” rule and the regulation that requires mobile app developers to get the consent of the parent(s) before the child downloads their mobile app.

The Right Way to Link Your Privacy Policy

1. Always use the “Clear and Conspicuous” guidelines
2. Have a prominent privacy policy link on your mobile app menu
3. Have a easy to find privacy policy link on your mobile app store page
4. Have a conspicuous privacy policy link on your website
5. Make sure all users can view (and ideally download) your privacy policy before they download your mobile app
Remember, if you market to children, you are required to get the approval of the child’s parent(s) before they download your mobile app.

Here are further sources to help you with the legal requirements governing privacy policies, disclosures, and your mobile apps.

Attorney-Drafted Mobile App Privacy Policy

Mobile Privacy Disclosures

Mobile Privacy Practices

This is the list you do not want to be on:

New California & Nevada Privacy Laws Affect Website and Mobile App Owners ➞ Read More