Q. Mobile apps are increasingly popular. Our company is developing an app that will essentially mirror our website. Are there any special protections we should consider before we go public with our mobile app?
by Gaida Zirkelbach on February 27, 2012A.
You’re right. Mobile applications – commonly referred to as mobile ‘apps’ – are all the rage. In fact, some 31 billion apps were downloaded to mobile devices in 2011, according to industry analyst Juniper Research. Apps are expected to generate $52 billion in revenue by 2016, the company predicts. It makes sense that more businesses are looking to join the growing mobile marketplace.
One very important thing to consider as you develop your mobile app is your company’s privacy policies. That is, the disclosure a business provides about the information it collects from consumers when the consumer visits the company’s website or mobile app.
As a result, regulators and attorney generals are starting to look closely at mobile app privacy practices.
For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a report indicating that the vast majority of mobile apps intended for children offer no privacy information, and urged developers of mobile apps to provide more information on data collection. The FTC also made it clear that it plans to review whether apps violate child privacy laws.
While this deal only applies to apps in use in California, it will affect the entire marketplace – including Florida companies.
If you are curious about the types of information that popular mobile apps are collecting, you may want to visit The Wall Street Journal’s What They Know interactive database.
This post is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this information.