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mobile apps

As a follow up to Newstex's release of its free ebook, "The Publisher's Guide to Mobile and Tablet Development," it's important to review the legal considerations that go into mobile app development and marketing.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a free guide, Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right from the Start, which covers many of the legal issues that affect mobile app promotion.For example, the guide offers nine points related to your advertising claims and consumer privacy that all mobile app developers and marketers need to understand:

  1. Tell the truth about what your app can do.
  2. Disclose key information clearly and conspicuously in all materials and advertising.
  3. Build privacy considerations in from the start (i.e., privacy by design).
  4. Be transparent about your data practices.
  5. Offer choices that are easy to find and easy to use and enable users to configure how their personal data is used in the way they want.
  6. Honor your privacy promises.
  7. Protect kids’ privacy.
  8. Collect sensitive information only with consent
  9. Keep user data secure by collecting only the data you need, securing the data you keep, restricting access to this data on a need-to-know basis only, and safely disposing of data you no longer need.

The guide is filled with tips to help mobile app developers comply with legal issues and expectations. To make things even easier, the FTC released a video last month that provides many of the tips, which you can view at the end of this article. In the video, FTC attorney Laura Berger shares general privacy and truth-in-advertising guidelines for mobile app developers to follow. For example, Laura explains:

"Once you start distributing your app, you’re an advertiser.  An ad isn’t just a multi-million dollar TV spot or global marketing campaign. It’s pretty much anything a company tells a prospective customer about what a product can do.  This could be on a web site, in an app store, or even a feature–like a privacy setting or control – that you built into the app itself."One rule of thumb is to look at your product and your advertising from the average user’s perspective.  And if you make objective claims about your app, you need solid proof to back them up before you start distributing it."

The FTC has taken action against companies that failed to comply with its requirements, so it's essential that all mobile app developers understand the laws that apply to their activities and stay compliant at all times.Download the free ebook from Newstex: The Publisher's Guide to Mobile and Tablet DevelopmentImage: Jeffrey

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