Steps for developing GDPR-compliant apps
By Shannon Ash, Rogerwilco - Jun 7th, 13:00
Since the initial buzz around GDPR and now the global law that came into effect earlier this month, it’s more important than ever for startup and even well-established businesses which are busy creating or updating their mobile applications to understand the repercussions linked to customer or personal data. Should your app’s technical implications not follow the law, you could be in for a big surprise.
While it may seem like the end of tech innovation for those who aren’t familiar with the reasoning, it’s simply a challenge that startup companies need to overcome.
Creating an app will require every employee to understand the need to control their data and communicate their intentions behind using their customers’ data. These rules need to be shared fluently and clearly for anyone interacting with the brand to see, especially if you’re looking for investment companies to consider funding your app.
Here are a few tips to ensure that any future app development is GDPR compliant:
● Determine whether your app really needs all the requested personal data
One of the first steps to creating an app which is compliant is to stop requesting as much personal data as possible. In some cases, applications request information such as the user’s name, surname, birth date, country and town of residence, however, more technical apps can easily require more. If possible, try and ensure that your developers work around this. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to request nearly as much information as you do today, but if you do have to, keep it short and simple. And don’t forget to engage with your customers about where and why their information will be stored.
● Be sure to encrypt all personal data and inform users about it
● Stop tracking user activity for business intelligence
The customer journey is going to take a backseat in app development growth until you learn to work around customer data to help improve your mobile customer experience. Many well-known apps are known to track user behaviour by monitoring customer in-app searches and using them for remarketing purposes. Companies will no longer be able to store such personal information without the user knowing, and users should be able to accept or deny this. Based on the result, customers should get a detailed description of where their data is, how it’s saved and for how long it will be there before it gets removed.
● Inform your users that you will be saving their location or IP addresses
New app technology has started to warn customers about companies using their locations to gain authorisation to access the app. Going forward, this needs to be incorporated into every app. The same goes for IP addresses. Customers should always know how long their logs will be saved in the system.
● Create clear terms and conditions and make sure users read them
According to new laws and data regulations, businesses which don’t inform their customers about anything data related in their terms and conditions, and contact or application forms, can receive a massive fine. It is encouraged that you incorporate these details into your terms and conditions on the landing page of your application, and in multiple languages for your users to understand. An enforcement mechanism will also be necessary for users to agree to before being granted to access to the app.
● Delete data of users who cancel their service
Customers that download your app should know that if they cancel their account with you, their information will be deleted immediately. Gone are the days where you could just keep treating deleted accounts as ‘inactive’ by still sending customers app-related or advertising information. You need to respect your customers’ right to want their information to be removed from your systems.
With technology constantly changing, it’s both an advantage and a challenge for startup companies to keep up. If you have a revolutionary idea to start an app which is likely to become the next big thing, don’t sit back and wait. Go out and seek startup funding. There are countless crowdfunding platforms and initiatives to consider before approaching investment companies head-on. However, with so much competition around, take the opportunity to go after your dream. With the above tips, you’ll be able to keep your idea compliant and in-line with the law, all the better for future success.
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