Wednesday, March 21, 2012

California App Developer Privacy Policy

Dear Rich: I'm working on an app that sorts through a user's Contacts and helps to build a family tree. We're ready to launch but I read there is a new federal law that app makers have to disclose privacy policies. What's the law and how do I create a policy for my app? It's not a federal law, it's a California law. However, unless you plan on avoiding all California app buyers, you'll need to abide by it if your app collects "personally identifiable information about Californians." Perhaps your app doesn't collect this type of information, and if so, you don't have to do anything. But if you do collect info (or you're not sure and want to avoid any potential liability), you should probably make a downloadable version of your privacy policy available to consumers. Here's where you can read about California's rule. Apparently, the potential fines for a failure are $5,000. It's easy to create a privacy policy; just look at somebody else's and copy what applies to your situation. Apparently, there are also free privacy policy creators online though we can't vouch for the results.