Mobile App Privacy Policy- Key Essentials to Include

Mobile App Privacy Policy
February 11, 2022

Today, the use of mobile and smartphones has increased remarkably. When we say smartphones, the use of mobile apps goes without saying. With the increasing technologies, the usage of mobile applications continues to grow, and it gives rise to best practices in data and app security, along with privacy. It means that mobile app privacy has taken a significant place in this era, where apps are exposed to data threats and theft.

The privacy of mobile app users has to be taken into priority while developing apps to enhance online trust, consumer protection, and regulatory compliance. It is significant to know what you should include in a privacy policy before including it in a mobile app. Let us take a look at some of the key essentials you should know before you consider a privacy policy for your mobile app.

What is Mobile App Privacy Policy?

A mobile app policy is a legal revelation of how companies will utilize users’ personal information collected. It is a fact that mobile and web apps collect data from users, which is utilized for multiple purposes. Therefore, there is a need to provide a legal disclosure in this relevance. It will offer details related to:

What details are collected

Where these data are stored

With whom the data is shared

What the use of the data is

A majority of the app companies lay out what information the app will collect. For example, primary details such as profile, behavioral, and content information are included in a privacy policy.

Why Do You Need a Privacy Policy for your App?

Required By Law

Today, laws across the globe have made it mandatory to have mobile app privacy to secure users’ confidential data. Therefore, it has become extremely essential to have or include a privacy policy in your mobile app, or you might have to face some serious penalties.

Regardless of where you live, it is compulsory to have a privacy policy according to where your users are located. It means the laws of users’ countries are implied when it comes to having a mobile app privacy policy. 

European Union

GDPR, also known as the General Data Protection Regulation, has made having a privacy policy mandatory in articles 12, 13, and 14. It explains that any company that collects and processes European users’ data or functions in Europe needs to have a privacy policy that provides information in easy and clear language.

Moreover, companies should bring this policy to the notice of users, so that they can give their consent before the collection of personal or professional data. Additionally, it should include GDPR-compliant elements.

United States

The United States doesn’t have a privacy policy at the central level. However, the California Online Policy Protection Act, also known as CalOPPA, says that any app or website collecting personal data from users residing in California need to have a privacy policy.

Thus, if your mobile app is available in the United States, you are likely to have Californian users, which means you need to have a privacy policy under the CalOPPA.

Other Countries

The countries we mentioned above have specific laws regarding mobile app privacy policies. However, numerous other countries also have their particular privacy regulation. Therefore, it is significant that you make your mobile app privacy policy accordingly.

Required By App Stores

One of the main reasons to have a mobile app privacy policy is that well-known app stores also require it to present your app on their platform with their terms.

Apple Store

Apple Store has been clear from the beginning regarding its mobile app privacy policy. Therefore, it has provided comprehensive guidelines that developers building apps for its store need to follow.

Moreover, Apple also mentions in section 5.1.1(i) that all mobile apps must have a link that leads or presents their privacy policy in the Apple Store. Apple also insists on mentioning specific information to be displayed in the privacy policy to its users.

Google Play Store

Like other app stores, Google Play Store also insists on complying with the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, when you plan to build your app for Android users. When you intend to create a mobile app for Android users through Google Play Store, you have to agree to protect their privacy and legal rights under section 4.8 of this Agreement.

Amazon App Store

Like Apple and Google, Amazon also insists to have a privacy policy in its Developer Services Agreement under the Privacy Clause. It means that the app has access to users’ data through the Amazon Appstore with the end user’s consent. This consent allows the app to collect, utilize, transfer, and store the data under the applicable laws.

Required By Third-Party Services

Using third-party tools or services requires you to fulfill specific requirements when making a privacy policy. Some examples of third-party services include PayPal, Stripe, Google Analytics, Google AdSense, and more. A majority of these tools require to have a privacy policy to access the personal data of users when using their services. 

Essentials to Include in a Privacy Policy

Information Accumulated

Under a mobile app privacy policy, it is significant for your users to know what type of information you will collect about them while they use your app. Therefore, you must provide clear and concise details about what data you will gather about them when they will download and install your mobile app.

Collection Procedure

When you issue a privacy policy, you must explain to your users the data collection. You must provide this information in the background via cookies in an in-app browser while they complete in-app purchases. It will help you build trust and a long-term relationship with your users and create a culture of transparency.

Sharing & Purpose

We discussed the significance of mobile app privacy policy in the blog above. However, users need to know why and how you collect their data when they install your app. Apart from this, they have the right to know why you need these details and what you will do with the data.

Therefore, you must mention the purpose of gathering data in the policy, which is also mandatory under GDPR (if applicable). Additionally, you need to specify if you will be sharing this information with any third party. As a result, your users will have clear and informed consent for your app.

Data Storage & Security

When it comes to sharing personal details on the Internet, privacy becomes a legitimate concern. In this situation, no one is comfortable sharing them. Therefore, you must inform them about how and where this data will be securely stored. It is was better to keep your users informed about their privacy and data security.

Opt-Out Data Collection

Mobile app users are eligible to know about their data protection rights under applicable laws. Also, they have the right to opt-out of data collection, which means that opting out may affect their experience on the app.

Contact & Payment Information

When users download your mobile app, they should be well-informed about the contact and payment details. When we talk about contact details, they should be able to access you in the case of any queries in relevance to data processing activities. Therefore, make sure you include contact details such as a postal address, email address, and phone number.

Moreover, it is significant to pro[]vide payment details in the form under the privacy policy, wherein you must explain how and who will process this information.

Final Words

Most of the apps today, collect personal data from their users, which means you need to have a privacy policy. Moreover, this policy should be issued such that users should know every detail about how and where their data is going to be utilized.

More significantly, it is mandatory to have an app privacy policy, which countries across the globe require through the GDPR. This legal body presents the severest and most advanced privacy legislation in the world. Therefore, you need to comply with all applicable laws of the country where you will make your app available.

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