As mobile app developers soon discover, coming up with a great idea and then building the mobile app is only just the beginning. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – the nation’s consumer protection agency – it’s never too soon to start thinking about making sure your app is compliant with current commerce regulations.
While every app is different, there are some general guidelines that every developer should be thinking about:
- Truthful advertising: Don’t make claims your app can’t deliver. One rule of thumb: Look at your product and your advertising from the perspective of average users, not just software engineers or app experts. If you make objective claims about your app, you need solid proof to back them up before you start selling.
- Disclose key information clearly and conspicuously: The goal is to make sure they are big enough and clear enough that users actually notice them and understand what they say.
- Build privacy considerations in from the start: You accomplish this by limiting the information you collect, securely storing what you hold on to and safely disposing of what you no longer need.
- Be transparent about your data practices: Explain what information your app collects from users or their devices and what you do with their data.
- Offer choices that are easy to find and easy to use: Give your users ways to control how their personal information is collected and shared.
- Protect kids’ privacy: You have additional requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC’s COPPA Rule so make sure you know what they are.
- Collect sensitive information only with consent: Get your OK before you collect any sensitive data from them.
- Keep user data secure: Under the law, you have to take reasonable steps to keep sensitive data secure.
The article contains some helpful links giving you access to additional information.