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The buzz about website owners needing to attach privacy policies to websites is everywhere lately.
But what about mobile and web apps? Mobile app compliance is something you should be thinking about if you're launching an iOS or Android app.
Data privacy has become increasingly important over the past decade, and analysts indicate it will continue to be a point of concern for mobile app developers far into the future, especially as more countries add their privacy policies into the mix.
- What information your app collects from its users
- How, where, and how long that information is stored
- How that information is protected
- Who you share that information with
- What the information is used for
- How a customer can request to review that information and potentially make changes, and how to opt out of certain services or aspects
Apple App Store Requirements
If you plan to host your app on the Apple App Store, you must also comply with Apple's requirements.
Apple apps must clearly and explicitly state the following:
- What data the app collects, how that data is collected, and all ways that data is used
- The app's data deletion and retention policies, primarily how a user can withdraw consent and demand the deletion of their data
Additionally, Apple has multiple other requirements related to legality and data privacy.
As a reference, the App Store Review Guidelines document runs over 14,000 words in length, detailing the various "musts" and "must nots" of Apple apps.
Some of its other privacy requirements include conditions surrounding:
- Data minimization
- Account sign-in
- Data usage and data sharing
- Health, fitness, and medical data
- Children's data
- Location services
- If you use certain third-party service providers, they require privacy policies to be provided. These third-party service providers include Google Maps, Google Analytics, and Facebook Graph API.
- If your app has users from certain geographical regions, you must comply with their jurisdictions' privacy laws.
What privacy laws apply to Mobile Apps?
Depending upon how wide-reaching your mobile app is, you may need to ensure your app's compliance with one or several privacy laws.
Noteworthy privacy laws that may apply to your app include:
- California Online Privacy Protection Act, 2004 (CalOPPA)
- California Consumer Privacy Act, 2018 (Read more about CCPA)
- California Privacy Rights Act, 2020 (CPRA)
- Virginia's Consumer Data Protection Act, 2023 (VCDPA)
- Colorado Privacy Act, 2023 (CPA)
- Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, 1998 (COPPA)
- Canada's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 2000 (Read more about PIPEDA)
- The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, 2018 (Read more about GDPR)
- Video Privacy Protection Act, 1988 (VPPA)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996 (HIPAA)
This way, if you choose to collect data in the future, you will already be covered under the current laws.
Privacy policies for mobile apps are no more complicated or simplistic than those for eCommerce stores and websites.
Step Two: Fill out our simple policy questionnaire
Next, you will need to fill out our simple policy questionnaire.
We'll ask you a few questions about your business or app, like what kind of data you collect and what you use it for.
You'll want the policy to blend in with your app's aesthetics so it appears fully incorporated rather than an afterthought slapped onto the app later in the design process.
In this step, you can play with aesthetics like border styles, title, accordion default state, button style, and even different languages!
But if this is your first app, or you're just learning about privacy policies, don't worry!
- As a link in the app store, like Apple App Store or Google Play Store
- Into the app's menu or prominently on the app's home screen
- On the app's promotional website, if you have one
One crucial fact about privacy policies is that they are constantly in a state of evolution.
A once-per-year manual update isn't sufficient to keep your business and its customers adequately protected. Instead, the best protection comes with round-the-clock monitoring, updating, and implementing of changing data privacy laws.
It certainly would be if you were handling this on your own. However, you don't need to do that, so it doesn't need to exhaust you in the least!
All of this will give you the peace of mind you need to rest easy knowing your app complies with all relevant data privacy laws and regulations — both now, and in the future.
This is a difficult question to answer in a standardized, one-size-fits-all manner. The real answer would be whenever the laws are changed or a new relevant law is added.
The wider your app's reach, the more laws it must satisfy. The more data privacy laws you operate under, the greater the chance one will be changed or amended. Likewise, the further your customer base is spread geographically, the greater the chance that new laws are initiated in your users' jurisdictions.
For example, if your user base currently runs the length of the entirety of North America, then you must consider data privacy laws in the following jurisdictions:
- The United States
- US federal laws, like HIPAA and COPPA
- US current comprehensive state laws, like those in California
- US state laws that are signed and coming into effect soon, like those in Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, and Virginia
- US states with active bills, like Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey
- The 23 US states with inactive bills, like Minnesota, New York, Florida, and Washington
- Canada's current PIPEDA
- Canada's potential Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA)
- Canada's data protection acts, which currently seven provinces have, including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec
- Potential data protection acts from the three provinces currently lacking them
- Additional upcoming data protection laws from Canada or its 10 provinces
- Data protection under the Mexican Consitution
- Mexican Federal Law for the Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties (FLPPDHPP)
- Other current Mexican data protection laws
- Upcoming data protection laws from Mexico or its 32 states
On the other hand, if your app is exclusively used by customers living in Maine, then you may only need to worry about laws and regulations in Maine.
How can Enzuzo help?
Enzuzo works with over 10,000 brands to help minimize privacy risks on their apps, online stores, and websites. We have a team dedicated to staying on top of data privacy laws worldwide.
As soon as our customers' privacy policies are near obsoletion due to a legal update or new regulation, our team is on top of it, updating your policy to keep you in compliance.
We make it simple and easy to maintain compliance with all the relevant laws and regulations your app may fall under worldwide. We are more than just a policy generator.
We can handle data requests, compliance reporting, and legal policies. And we can do all of this across 25+ languages.
We have packages to fit every budget, starting with a free forever package and scaling up to packages appropriate for small, medium, and large businesses.
From free services to paid options, Enzuzo has a plan that will help protect your customers' privacy, protect your company's liability, and take the weight of data privacy regulatory fines and legal fees off your mind for good!
Paige is the growth marketing lead at Enzuzo and host of The Living Lab podcast, providing insightful articles in the privacy space.