Six in every 10 Australians choose not to use smartphone apps because of concerns about the way personal information would be used, research by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has found.
stunt app use
The OAIC has released a new guide, Mobile Privacy: A Better Practice Guide for Mobile App Developers, with the aim of assisting mobile app developers to embed better privacy practices into their products, and to comply with Australian privacy law.
Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim said the growing app industry presented both potential benefits to people but also serious risks to how personal information is handled.
“Mobile app developers operating in the Australian market need to be aware of how Australian privacy regulation applies, otherwise they risk breaching the law,” Mr Pilgrim said.
He said he was recommending that app developers adopted a ‘privacy by design’ approach to make sure any app they developed was privacy-friendly.
“It is ultimately in an app developer’s best interest to build strong privacy protections into their product. The mobile apps that take privacy seriously will be the ones that stand out from the crowd and gain user trust and loyalty,” Mr Pilgrim said.
He said the guide recommended that app developers use short-form privacy notices instead of lengthy privacy policies that were difficult to read on small screens.
“People are increasingly expecting transparency about how their personal information is handled, so it’s important to get informed consent from people so they can decide whether or not to install an app,” he said.
“Informed consent requires that users be told about the privacy implications of an app in a way they can understand.”
The full guide can be viewed at this PS News link.
Edition 400, 11 March 2014