Privacy Policies for Websites and Mobile Applications - Klein Moynihan Turco

Privacy Policies for Websites and Mobile Applications

While some businesses might be under the impression that their websites or mobile applications (“app”) privacy policies are of little importance, in truth, a well-crafted privacy policy is a critical requirement for any Internet or mobile venture. Letting website/mobile app visitors know, via your privacy policy, about your online data collection activities is not only a good policy from a customer-relations perspective, but it is required by state and federal law.

In addition to ensuring that your online data collection activities comply with relevant laws, a well-written privacy policy can form a key feature of your online business strategy.

Online Data Collection Activities

In general, a business’s disclosure of online data collection activities should include the types of personally identifiable information collected, how that information is used, to whom that information is disclosed, and the security measures employed to protect that information. Certain states (e.g., California) and countries (e.g., the United Kingdom and the European Union) have more stringent disclosure standards. Please take note that if your customers live in these jurisdictions, your website/mobile app privacy policy will need to include certain additional disclosure requirements.

Mobile App Privacy Policy Concerns

Mobile apps can pose unique privacy issues due to the nature of certain mobile app functionality. For instance, a mobile app privacy policy should address to what extent, if any, the app tracks a user’s geolocation. Users must be afforded the ability to make informed decisions about permitting such geolocation tracking. Accordingly, app operators that wish to utilize geolocation tracking should provide users with an easy means to opt-out of such tracking. In addition, mobile app privacy policies should specify what, if any, mobile device-specific information the app operator collects.

Monetize Your Database

With the right privacy policy and inclusion of proper consent language at the point of data collection, businesses can monetize user data through e-mail marketing, telemarketing, and mobile/text message marketing (where permitted by law). If you fail to adequately inform end-users of your intention to use their data for marketing purposes, however, any attempt to do so would likely violate applicable laws.

Properly collected data from informed users will provide businesses with an additional valuable source of revenue. Please note that the practice of collecting and storing data imposes a responsibility on businesses and their employees to safeguard such data. Various state and federal statutes require that businesses distribute written policies on data security procedures to employees and notify consumers in the event of a security breach involving their data.

Your Privacy Policy Should Work for You

Due to the potential financial benefits and complex regulatory framework governing online data collection activities, it makes good business and legal sense to craft a website/mobile app privacy policy that is tailored to your business’s needs and properly informs your website/mobile app users.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or require the preparation of a privacy policy for your mobile app or website, please e-mail us at info@kleinmoynihan.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

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Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash

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