Imagine what the world would look like if we did not have clear guidelines around what people did with your personal information. It would be akin to walking into a grocery store to pick up dinner and while there, employees are writing down everything about you. They’d record your home address, interests, search history, purchase history, and credit card number. When you leave the store, you have no idea what they’ll do with all that data nor how long they’ll save it.
Online activity used to occur like this when sharing information was like the wild west. Thankfully, we’re in a more sophisticated age, though it does require more advanced policies around privacy and data sharing.
- Collection of personal data
- Use of personal data
- Disclosure/sharing of personal data
- Advertising and Analytics Services Provided by Others
- Data Transfers and Retention
- Third-Party Services
- Your preferences
- Privacy rights for California consumers
Now that data storing and information tracking are common digital practices, it’s important businesses are upfront about how a user’s personal information is managed. Providing clarity around this topic both protects the business from accusations for data mishandling, as well as lets the user make informed decisions about which websites and apps they trust. Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony at a 2018 Senate hearing is an illustrative example of the consequences of privacy policies not accurately reflecting a business’ data practices.
Privacy Policies for iOS and Android Platforms
It’s the law
Similarly, there are laws protecting individuals’ right to privacy concerning their personal information, which extends to online activities.
A few notable privacy laws domestic to the USA are CalOOPA and CCPA. Without getting bogged down in the legal-ese of these laws, the overarching takeaways concern:
- How and why businesses collect data
- Consumers right to know, consent, and opt-out of data collection
- Penalties for businesses who fail to comply
Though there isn’t one overarching federal law concerning online privacy, there is an alphabet soup of laws (like the GLBA and FTCA) that cover niche regulations that must be followed.
Finally, if you are working on a global website or app with users outside the U.S., then it’s important to note the European Union has a General Data Protection Regular (GDPR). This law is stricter than any of ours in the U.S. and is actively enforced, stressing the need to maintain stringent user data protection and privacy.
When it comes to understanding privacy policies for apps and websites, think of it like a tax return. It’s important to know what it is and why we do it. But we don’t need to know how to do it ourselves. It’s best left to the professionals. Instead, put those extra hours towards furthering your app/website and creating an awesome product.
Interested in learning about other essential elements that go into an app or web app? Get in touch!
You might also like: