A recent Hubspot survey reveals that among 363 business leaders from developed nations, only 36% are familiar with GDPR norms. Misinformation and mismanagement of user data cause irrecoverable data breaches such as the Cambridge Analytica- Facebook incident. It is, therefore, critical for digital businesses to seek privacy and data protection services for maintaining GDPR compliant web interfaces.
This blog post explores some best practices businesses can adopt to ensure that their mobile applications are GDPR compliant.
Understanding GDPR and its Implications for Mobile Apps
EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates worldwide data collectors to clearly disclose the usage of users’ personal information. The privacy-centric law that came into effect on 25th May 2018, aims to provide online users complete control of their information. It grants web users the right to know and express their consent about how companies process their everyday data.
The information can include anything from username, email address, location, call and message records, media files, and other chunks of online data.
The following are the four basic aspects of GDPR that every app owner and website developer must adhere to-
Companies shall be penalized with a fine of 20 million euros in case of infringement of the above-mentioned GDPR principles.
According to a report published after the GDPR’s first year of implementation, over 200,000 data theft cases have been registered so far. It also reveals that a cumulative fine of 55.96 million euros has been imposed across 11 EEA countries. It is, therefore, essential for digital businesses to implement effective data protection solutions that legalize their online services.
Related- Data Privacy: The Impact of GDPR on Customer Relationships
GDPR and Mobile Apps | Ensuring Protected User Workflows
Back in July this year, the German state of Hesse banned its schools from using Microsoft Office 365 citing privacy issues. The state’s data protection commissioner alleged Microsoft of breaching the EU’s GDPR policy and exposing student data to US authorities.
To avoid facing such blacklistings, we have compiled some industry best practices to develop GDPR compliant mobile apps-
1) Implementing Privacy by Design
GDPR’s Article 23 suggests that app developers and designers should be mindful of users’ privacy from the early development stages itself. The law binds decision-makers to invest appropriate time and effort into making the app infrastructure immutable and secure. To ensure this, companies should provide optimum security to their consumers with-
a) Transparent app logins with privacy policies in place
b) 2-Factor authentication
c) Restricted data sharing settings
d) Tried and tested SQL Injection and Patched vulnerabilities
Related- Adopting ‘Privacy by Design’ for Data Security and Privacy
2) Asking for User Consent
It is the legal responsibility of companies to request users’ consent before fetching and using their online data. To ensure GDPR compliance, it is vital for companies to provide explicit opt-ins on app login pages. It should inform users about all types of data that the app will use to render the desired services.
Also, it is essential to state clear instructions that guide users through data restriction settings and opt-out fields.
Transparent data usage information in the Firefox app enables users to manage their data before installing the app.
3) Reviewing your Third-party Service Processes
With a multitude of features, mobile apps are now using several third-party services to enhance user experience. GDPR norms suggest that companies relying on third-party data privacy services must state the policy terms distinctly to all users.
Well-documented third-party licenses and agreements with your data processor are standard GDPR requirements for all companies. Also, the providers of data protection and security solutions should comply with GDPR security measures and provide validated SDKs.
4) Encrypting Data Storage and Communication
Since the enactment of GDPR, almost every social app has ensured proper SSL and HTTPS protocols for user interactions. The communication protocol in HTTPS is encrypted with TLS to ensure privacy and data integrity between servers and respective applications. It ensures that sensitive user data is not being leaked or spied during the processing of information across the web.
Privacy and Data Protection Services for Mobile Apps
With growing privacy concerns, data protection and security measures are becoming indispensable pre-requisites for online businesses. We, at Oodles, provide GDPR compliant data protection services to global businesses. We implement the privacy by design concept, to ensure privacy protection is embedded in business processes, physical design, networked infrastructure, information technology, etc. Talk to our data analysts to know more about our work and services.