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4 Legal Considerations for Building a Mobile App

Mobile is on the Move

Mobile app development is no longer something companies can choose to “dabble in.” The world has gone mobile, and if companies wish to stay relevant they need to do much the same. But it isn’t just a matter of trying to make your website responsive or creating a fun application that allows people to find your company’s closest store: there are as many legal considerations in mobile app development as there are anything else in the business.

This article by Alysa Hutnik outlines some of the legal challenges that an organization developing a mobile application might do very well to consider, such as being open and honest about “the money factor”:

 If your app has a charge associated with it — whether as part of the initial purchase or within the app itself (e.g. purchase in-game content, accessories, etc.), disclose that point upfront using plain language in the description. Apply a “dummy” test — would your tech-challenged family member notice and read the disclosure, or is it buried under miles of terms and conditions?

If a User can Buy, Identify

The money factor becomes even more important if your app is designed for children. In particular, if kids might make in-game purchases that the parents would rather not pay for.

Another consideration? Data Drilling. Gathering user data is a hot button issue right now in the U.S. and the world, so if you’re planning to use data gathered from your users, you’ll need to make sure that you’re following all of the rules—and checking often to see how those rules have changed.

Finally, don’t think that a “legalese” boilerplate is going to protect your business. Clearly communicating important terms is more valuable than communicating everything unclearly. Remember: user friendliness is the key to creating an app that benefits you and the user.

Read the full article here: http://mashable.com/2011/05/26/mobile-app-legal-tips/

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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