February 11, 2016
One of the most useful features of mobile applications (or “mobile apps”), from both a consumer and mobile app operator standpoint, is the fact that mobile apps are, as the name implies, mobile. That is, the mobile apps travel with the user via that user’s mobile device and this mobility creates a unique opportunity to offer and receive location-based services. Location-based services are enabled by geolocation tracking software that interacts with the mobile apps (and the underlying mobile devices) in order to pinpoint the approximate geographic location of the mobile device.
Location-based services offer a wide range of conveniences, from recommendations for nearby restaurants to the best routes to and from desired destinations, but they do raise significant privacy concerns. Not every consumer is comfortable with mobile app operators having the ability to track the whereabouts of her/his mobile device and, by extension, the consumer her/himself. Thus, mobile app operators that wish to offer location-based services that are enabled by geolocation software must be sure to follow applicable regulatory and industry guidelines regarding obtaining and maintaining consumer consent, making the proper disclosures regarding geolocation information collection and use practices and ensuring that proper security protocols are in place.
What Rules Must a Mobile App Operator Comply with When Using Geolocation Tracking Software?