App Developers

News & Analysis as of

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit with a hefty FTC fine

Two developers of mobile apps for children recently learned an expensive lesson about their legal responsibilities when it comes to protecting children’s privacy. Together, the companies will pay a total of $360,000 in...more

Launching a Mobile App in Europe? Seven Things to Consider When Drafting the Terms & Conditions

The mobile app has become the new face of business. It’s no longer sufficient to have a company website. More and more companies want a mobile app that users can download to their smartphones and easily access. It’s not...more

FTC Brings First Enforcement Actions Against Kids Apps Using Persistent Identifiers for Targeted Advertising

On December 17, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) enforcement actions challenging the use of persistent identifiers to engage in targeted advertising...more

What App Users Care About When Sharing Personal Data: Permissions

The latest Pew Research Center Report relayed useful information regarding application users’ concerns with sharing personal data. Ninety percent of app users indicated that how their personal data will be used is “very” or...more

Building a Successful Social Media App: Four Lessons Learned from Snapchat

Since its launch in 2011, the social media platform Snapchat has generated its share of negative press, with most of that press in some way related to the very characteristic that, at least initially, helped Snapchat to...more

Data-Harvesting Zombie Hackers, Blood-Thirsty Auditors, and Other Reasons to be Scared on Halloween

This Halloween, the scariest monsters might not be in your closet or under your bed. They may be overseas, orchestrating intrusions into your electronic medical record. Or they may be lurking in your own workforce, carrying...more

Advertising Law - October 2015 #4

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Application of VPPA to Free App - The latest decision interpreting the application of the Video Privacy Protection Act in the context of twenty-first century technology provides positive news for...more

OCR Launches Platform for Developer HIPAA Questions

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has released a new platform to provide mobile health developers (and any other interested stakeholders) a sounding board to ask questions, voice concerns, and “spitball” ideas about HIPAA...more

Important Circuit Court Ruling Limits Scope of VPPA Liability

The Eleventh Circuit issued a notable ruling this week limiting a mobile app’s liability under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), 18 U.S.C. § 2710, a law enacted in 1988 to preserve “consumer” personal privacy with...more

Advertising Law - September 2015 #2

FTC Reviews Kids’ Apps for Privacy Progress - Three years after conducting a survey on apps directed to children, the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation decided to check back with...more

White House Announces Next Steps in Easing of Cuban Embargo But Broad Restrictions Remain in Place

On September 21, 2015, new amendments that further relax restrictions in the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) will take effect. In anticipation of the amendments’...more

The Telehealth Top 10 for 2015

Telehealth continues to be an innovative alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar medicine. The number of providers offering telehealth services is rapidly increasing and states are enacting laws requiring health plans to...more

Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine Held Inapplicable To Failed Business Transaction

An Illinois appellate court recently rejected applying the inevitable disclosure doctrine in a trade secret misappropriation spat arising out of a failed business transaction....more

Internet of Things Framework introduced by the Online Trust Alliance for our connected world

On August 11, 2015, the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) released an Internet of Things (IoT) Trust Framework (“the Framework”), which presents guidelines for IoT manufacturers, developers, and retailers. The Framework was...more

Mobile App Legal Terms & Conditions: Six Key Considerations

For corporations, the mobile app is today’s website. Back in the late 1990s, no self-respecting company, no matter how stodgy and old-fashioned, wanted to be without a website....more

Is My Telehealth App Subject to HIPAA?

Many telehealth and mHealth app developers are concerned about whether or not their app is a medical device under FDA regulations (and rightfully so), they often pay less attention to the Health Insurance Portability and...more

User Beware: Facebook’s Internet.org Platform Considered to be “Privacy Nightmare”

On May 4, 2015, Facebook introduced Internet.org Platform, an open program for developers to create services that integrate with Internet.org. However, many privacy advocates have deemed the Internet.org Platform to be a...more

Lab Tuesday - How Not to Use Apple’s Identifier for Advertising (IDFA/IFA)

Recently, the mobile platforms have played an important role in improving end-user privacy. Along these lines, Apple, in or around iOS version 6.0, created a new, unique identifier that could be used in place of the UDID and...more

EU: European Commission consults the games industry on in-app purchasing models

The European Commission has commenced a games industry consultation, looking to assess the impact of in-app purchasing models. ...more

Privacy Monday – October 21, 2013

Privacy tidbits and bytes for this Monday – App Developers – Put this on your calendar! Now that the US government shutdown is over, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced its participation in a workshop...more

Are Your IT Costs Increasing Next Month? New Massachusetts Sales and Use Tax on Computer and Software Services becomes Effective...

On July 24th, 2013 the Massachusetts legislature passed An Act Relative to Transportation Finance ("the Act"), which, among other things, makes "computer system design services and the modification, integration, enhancement,...more

Another Blow to Data Breach Class Actions: Bell, et al. v. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

On July 11, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a majority of the claims brought against Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. after a data breach suffered by Blizzard in 2012....more

Mobile App Series: Privacy by Design [Video]

Fenwick & West's Tyler Newby discusses the Federal Trade Commission's concept of Privacy by Design....more

FTC Serves Notice on App Developers About Children’s Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission has made it quite clear that it is serious about advising mobile app developers that the rules of the road will be changing very soon. Since 2011, the Commission has been working to update the...more

Federal Legislation Introduced Regarding Mobile Application Privacy

On May 9, 2013, Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson introduced the Application Privacy, Protection and Security Act of 2013 (the "Apps Act"), a bill "[t]o provide for greater transparency in and user control over the treatment...more

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