2. Common Privacy Mistakes to Avoid.
The common theme in these FTC privacy cases is that there has been an alleged disconnect between what the social media sites have been telling consumers about how their personal data is being collected, used, or shared, and what the sites are actually doing. The FTC also expects that when privacy policies state that reasonable measures are being taken to protect the personal information of users that the website collecting the information is taking reasonable precautions. As demonstrated by Anonymous, there is no fail safe method to stop cyberhacking (with even websites owned by the FTC and the Bureau of Consumer Protection being hacked in February 2012), but reasonable steps need to be taken.
On the bright side, there is incredible demand for your apps so you should not be dissuaded from spending some time and money to comply with state and federal privacy laws. Mobile app developers are in a great position to make lots of money from developing apps for smart phones, tablets, etc. It is estimated that 98 billion mobile applications will be downloaded by 2015, and the $6.8 billion market for mobile apps is expected to grow to $25 billion in the next four years.
Here are some recommendations to get you started:
(4) Is the website using your app under any legal requirement (such as a consent decree with the FTC) to get express permission from users in advance to share information with your app. If so, you may want to ask the website for reasonable assurances that they have done so.
(6) Take reasonable measures to safeguard consumer information. Conduct an audit on how consumer information is being safeguarded. Learn from the mistakes of other businesses. Here are some suggestions taken from the FTC settlement with Twitter over some hackers who gained administrative access to Twitter personal accounts on Twitter.