FPF & CDT Release Best Practices for Mobile App Developers

FPF & CDT Release Best Practices for Mobile App Developers

Today, the Future of Privacy Forum and the Center for Democracy & Technology publicly released a beta version of their “Best Practices for Mobile Applications Developers.” We have been working on this guidance over the past year in consultation with stakeholders from industry and civil society, both in the United States and abroad. We hope that this document can serve as a primer for developers who are interested in preserving their customers’ privacy but who aren’t necessarily privacy experts themselves.

We started on this project because of heightened privacy issues in the mobile environment. Application developers can access a considerably broader range of information about users than traditional web developers. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that of the top 101 apps, most were transmitting personal information about users, such as unique device identifiers, age, gender, and precise geo-location information to third parties. Research from the Future of Privacy Forum has shown that even in the most popular applications, less than half have privacy policies detailing what they do with customer data.

The best practices are based on long-established privacy principles that we believe should apply to everyone who collects and processes individual information, not just mobile developers. Among the recommendations that we make to developers are:

  • Be completely transparent about how you are using or transmitting customer data

  • Don’t access more data than you need, and get rid of old data

  • Give your customers control over uses that users might not expect

  • Use reasonable and up-to-date security protocols to safeguard data

  • As the app developer, you need to be responsible for thinking about privacy, and taking privacy into consideration during the various stages of your app life cycle


This is not a final pronouncement on our view as to what app developer best practices are.  We’re soliciting public comment on this draft — if you have feedback, please send your thoughts to info@futureofprivacy.org


Also, check out the survey we released yesterday finding that Free Mobile Apps are Better than Paid on Privacy Policies.

Leave a Reply

Privacy Calendar

8:30 am Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Privacy as a Profit Center: Leve... @ Old Slip by Convene
Jan 26 @ 8:30 am – Jan 27 @ 4:15 pm
Learn how those on the leading edge of privacy governance and digital innovation from companies including Cigna, Cisco Systems, eBay Inc. Public Policy Lab, FocusMotion,Ghostery, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Google, HP Enterprise Security Products, JPMorgan[...]
all-day Data Privacy Day
Data Privacy Day
Jan 28 – Jan 29 all-day
“Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008, as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. The Day commemorates the 1981 signing of Convention 108, the first[...]
all-day Global Privacy Summit 2015
Global Privacy Summit 2015
Mar 4 – Mar 6 all-day
For more information, click here.
6:00 pm CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
CDT Annual Dinner “TechProm” 2015
Mar 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Featuring the most influential minds of the tech policy world, CDT’s annual dinner, TechProm, highlights the issues your organization will be facing in the future and provides the networking opportunities that can help you tackle[...]
all-day BCLT Privacy Law Forum
BCLT Privacy Law Forum
Mar 13 all-day
This program will feature leading academics and practitioners discussing the latest developments in privacy law. UC Berkeley Law faculty and conference panelists will discuss cutting-edge scholarship and explore ‘real world’ privacy law problems. Click here[...]
all-day PL&B’s Asia-Pacific Roundtable (...
PL&B’s Asia-Pacific Roundtable (...
May 27 all-day
PROFESSOR GRAHAM GREENLEAF, Asia-Pacific Editor, Privacy Laws & Business International Report, will lead a roundtable on the countries of most interest to business in the Asia-Pacific region. Click here for more information.
all-day PL&B’s 28th Annual International...
PL&B’s 28th Annual International...
Jul 6 – Jul 8 all-day
The Privacy Laws & Business 27th Annual International Conference featured more than 40 speakers and chairs from many countries over 3 intensive days. At the world’s longest running independent international privacy event participants gained professionally by[...]

View Calendar