Top Legal Issues To Consider In App Development
Before you start the development of a mobile app, there are hundreds of questions. We are willing to bet that many of these questions have to do with your app's business idea and the process of developing it. Your app is almost ready to go and you are so excited, you forget all about legal issues.
We have compiled all the advice you would get from a web application development company in the USA.
Legal considerations to app developers
App marketplaces are generally worldwide. This means that your app can be downloaded and used in other countries. It is up to you to decide if your app should be developed and established by the laws and jurisdictions of each country. Or if the app must be modified to meet the requirements of different legal codes. It is not easy to deal with all the local laws in different places. We recommend that you hire an experienced lawyer to help you avoid any problems with out-of-law developments. This will give you the security and peace of mind to ensure that your app is compliant with all applicable laws in the countries where it will be downloaded.
Incorporate a business to limit your liability
Before you start thinking about how to build your app and develop the solution, consider the type of business that you want to run. It could be a single trading company, partnership, LLC, or limited liability company. The choice is yours. This last option is very profitable and flexible because you won't be responsible for all aspects of the project. As the name implies, the LLC (limited liability company) will not affect your assets, wealth, or net worth.
Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Before discussing an app idea, we always recommend that customers sign a nondisclosure agreement. This agreement will protect your confidential information with economic value.
App Development Contract
This document is essential for both app developers' companies as well as customers. It must clearly state the scope of services or work, time limits, fees (fixed time & material or mixed), ownership of code, and whether open-source software is used.
It is a good idea to create an LLC before you start app development. App owners can limit their liability in the event of any problems. Although entity formation is common among entrepreneurs, it may not be necessary for app developers who are developing apps for personal use.
Intellectual Property Ownership
During app development, there are two things you should be aware of: protecting your copyright and not infringing the copyrights of third parties.
Protect your intellectual property with:
- ● The trademark is used to identify the origin of products or services. The trademark is used to protect the name and logo of your app.
- ● Copyright protects your app's source code and artwork. Once the work has been completed, the app automatically receives copyright protection. You can also file a copyright request to the US/EU/GB Copyright Office to create a public record.
To be able to file a federal lawsuit, one must register. However, one should apply in every country where he/she seeks protection. Global registration is not necessary if you are not Apple. First, take your time creating a profitable app.
Third-party Intellectual Property Ownership
Apple prohibits third-party material and protects intellectual property rights. Although laws (and app laws!) may differ from one country to another, the fundamental rules that apply to all app stores are the same. Apps must only contain images, music, or texts that you are allowed to use. You can notify the Google Play Market View team using an advanced notice form, or simply by sending a cover note while you apply to Apple's Store.
Encouraging copyright infringement
Your app may allow users to stream and download copyright-protected material. You should seek legal advice regarding this issue in such cases.
Restricted content policy. Check your app's store listing page to see if there is any restricted or explicit content. All rules can be found on the Google Restricted Content Policy webpage.
Apps that contain or feature user-generated content (UGC), must be protected by additional measures, including reporting systems, categorization, and IARC ratings. DMCA. DMCA.
If you are a designated agent, you can take action to remove infringing material and banfenders.
It is possible that your app will not pass the initial review. These problems are usually easily fixed. We offer after-delivery support to assist you in the registration process, and to make adjustments based on feedback from the stores and users.
User data protection
A legal advisor should also be consulted about user data protection. You should include a privacy statement in your store listing as well as your app if you are collecting user data. It should explain to users the purpose of their data collection and how they are doing it. These are Google Play guidelines.
You should be aware of several federal laws that protect users from information disclosure.
- ● Video Privacy Protection Act of 1998.
- ● 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
- ● Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1999.
You should review the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act's requirements if your app collects personal data from children. This document is the main guide for app store moderators. You should also check the IARC rules.
GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, became effective May 25, 2005, in the EU. GDPR requires parental consent to process personal data about children under a certain age. Age limits vary from one country to another, but they are typically between 13-16 years of age.
International Age Rating Coalition. IARC is designed to make it easier for authorities in different countries to obtain content ratings, such as ESRB governing North America, PEGI gov Europe, and Australia. You will be able to comply with the most important kids protection authorities around the globe by referring to and following the IARC rules.
Your app may need to comply with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ( HIPAA and HL7 ). The general rule is: if your app provides and exchanges users' health data to doctors/hospitals/organizations and any third parties, it must comply with HIPAA.
There are many situations in which your app should not comply with HIPAA
- ● The app is downloaded by the user and filled out with personal health data. Protected health information is not created, received, maintained, transmitted, or shared.
- ● To manage/add/remove other health information, users can download their health data from a hospital/doctor resource and upload it to the app. This information is not shared with anyone. You develop and use the app without the involvement of any health providers or other interested parties.
Legal Tips for Videos Apps
Video streaming and selling apps could fall under the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 if user rental information is disclosed or shared with third parties.
Users of free Android apps (downloaded without providing identification information) do not have VPPA protection. Netflix lobbied for the change to VPPA in 2013. This allows sharing rental information on social media sites, provided that customers have given their permission.
The statistics update shows that the number of privacy-related suits against app developers rose in 2017, owing to the expansion of the app's functions, and the collection of data. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations Niantic, a Pokemon Go developer, was sued for violating German privacy laws. Pokemon Go shared user data such as player location, web history, and search terms.
Developers must ensure privacy protection is integrated into the app development process. App developers should also pay close attention to data collection and sharing within apps to avoid legal problems.
How to find the right team of developers?
It is difficult to build custom software because it involves many industry specificities and legal issues. It is important to find a reputable development company that can provide transparent project development and documentation.
There are many software development companies out there, but we want to highlight the key attributes that every software development company must possess.
- ● Proven experience in your industry
- ● suitable skills for developers (technology stack);
- ● regular communications;
- ● Keep you updated about the development process;
- ● Clear and simple-to-understand estimates;
- ● Development within your budget
- ● Research in your industry before the start of development;
- ● Maintenance services
The mobile app development company PerfectionGeeks has many years of experience in creating custom software solutions for clients across different industries. We have digitally transformed many clients' companies and improved their overall efficiency. We believe in transparency throughout the entire app development process. You can contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your requirements or to create an app for your company.
Consider all legal requirements that are relevant to your business industry when developing a custom app. This will eliminate some unnecessary and undesirable future legal risks. It also protects your property rights. The copyrights umbrella, if constructed correctly, will cover everything in this app that is important to your IP, DNA, or the makeup of this solution.
There are many standards and requirements. However, you don't have to manage them all on your own. We offer a complimentary consultation with our Business Analyst. We promise you won't regret choosing us.