GDPR for Developers: Making Your App GDPR Compliant

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Keval Padia

The European Union’s GDPR laws were made to come in effect on 25th May 2018. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This regulation is going to entirely change the businesses everywhere process and store their client’s and employees’ information. These new set of data protection laws are brought into effect in order to harmonize the data protection laws already in place in the European Union. Non-compliance of GDPR will cause a fine of up to $20 million or 4% of the turnover of the company, whichever is less.

The companies that are collecting information and data of citizens in the European Union countries are required to comply with this rule for protecting customer data. GDPR will help in setting up a new standard for consumer rights regarding the data. There will be new systems and processes in place, and the companies will be tested for these. Mobile app development agencies included. There will be new concerns and expectations for the security team.

Earlier, companies only used to protect an individual’s name, address, and social security number. But with the regulation of the new privacy laws, they will have to provide the same level of protection for an individual’s IP address and cookie data. Breach of the GDPR laws is something no company can afford to do.

There are several types of privacy data that are protected by the GDPR. These cover basic information like name, address, and ID numbers, web data like location, IP address etc, political preferences, health and generic data, sexual preferences etc. Mobile app developers should know and ensure that they are on the right side of GDPR to be secure from the consequences of not following the GDPR laws. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Obtaining a User’s Content

The mobile app must clear all the terms and conditions of its use in the very beginning. It should all be transparent. The terms and conditions should be mentioned in a manner that any person can understand. Too many jargons should be avoided, in order to give a simple explanation.

2. Give Reasons

The GDPR law says that the mobile app must provide their users with the right reasons for why data must be collected. This is considered to be legal consent from the users.

3. Privacy From The Very Beginning

A user’s privacy should be considered from the very beginning, right from the design stage of an app. The privacy controls can be tuned in a way that allows the users to turn on or turn off data monitoring that is done by the developers.

4. Option To Revoke

Right to erasure is one of the major user privileges that has been mentioned in the Art 15 of GDPR. GDPR says that the user has several rights when it comes to their personal data. This includes the right to revoke further data monitoring or permanently delete the data that has been collected all this while. This means the app users are given the right to delete the history of texts, locations, cookies, service requests etc.

5. Documentation of Details

Organizations would be required to document why and for what reasons the user’s data is being collected. All this documentation is also required to be presented when asked for scrutiny.

6. A Breach Response System

In case of a data breach occurring, the app developer shall intimate the responsible authority within 72 hours of that incident. Users must also be given an intimation for the same. GDPR gives the right to the users to take a civil action against the organization violating their rights under the regulation.

Wrap Up:

The GDPR laws are as important for the mobile app developers as anyone related to it. These laws will affect the whole software industry. No app is too small or too big to feel the impact of these laws. All the apps and mobile app development companies will be under equal scrutiny in any kind of breach against these laws. These laws were very much required and now that they are in place, users can feel secure about their information and organization would need to be more careful about their users’ personal information. It is always better to be on the right side of the law.

 

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