Mobile Apps and Privacy
Everyday many people download mobile apps for business or personal use and the issues with mobile apps and data privacy have increased tremendously.
Not too long ago I had a conversation with a developer friend of mine about the issue of data privacy and mobile apps. She said:
This stuff just makes people paranoid. Nobody really cares about those privacy notices or policies. Who reads them? Who really cares about permissions or app access when they are downloading apps? I wonder.
Being a certified information privacy professional, I couldn’t resist the urge to tell her that, “yes, there are folks who read those things and if something is not clear or makes them feel uncomfortable, they won’t download or purchase your app.”
Mobile app developers: due to the increase in emerging technologies and the use of consumer data, it is in your best interest to address data privacy issues concurrently with your mobile app development process.
As a consumer (and a mobile app user), I would expect a tech development firm to tell me exactly what will be collected and what it will be used for. Since I expect this, many expect it too. All it takes is one person who absolutely detests your policy to take you to court with facts and evidence.
Before you publish your mobile app, answer these questions
- Do you really need to collect all the stuff you say you collect?
- Why risk collecting info that you won’t use, especially personally identifiable info?
- Do you really need access to read phone status and ID especially when your app doesn’t even have anything to do with making calls?
- Do you really need to know the user’s GPS location when your app has absolutely nothing to do with maps?
Here are my not-so-expensive two cents about privacy issues associated with mobile apps – state exactly what you are collecting and what you will use them to do. If you don’t need it, don’t collect it.
Image courtesy of sxc