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Business Protection Bulletin


By November 5, 2013No Comments

The global market for mobile application technology should top $25 billion by 2015. If you’d like to get a piece of this action by developing and marketing an app, experts recommend that you take these steps:

  1. Follow the rules. Starting any business requires following a series of steps (from registration to hiring employees). These 10 Steps to Starting a Business will help you check all the necessary boxes.
  2. Expect to be monitored. Apps come under intense scrutiny. Negative reviews from consumers and experts, complaints, and horror stories can be fatal. Although regulation of the mobile market is in its infancy, online apps fall under the scrutiny of truth-in-advertising and data privacy laws regulated by the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection.
  3. Disclose all charges up front. Developing a custom app can be costly. If you try to recoup some of this investment by charging users, state these fees clearly and completely. Full disclosure is essential if children will use your app. If parents learn their child has racked-up unauthorized fees because your policy wasn’t clear, you’ll face a customer relations nightmare.
  4. Develop and communicate your privacy policy. The Future of Privacy Forum Application Developer Responsible Data Use Project found that 22 of the 30 top apps lacked any such policy. Many privacy policy generators available online give app developers options for customizing their policies. If your target market includes children, check the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which governs information that online businesses (and mobile apps) collect about children 13 years or younger.
  5. Consult a lawyer. Because every app start-up is unique, get advice from an attorney who specializes in privacy and consumer protection law.

Good luck!