5 Legal Issues in Mobile App Development to Consider in 2021

As a Mobile Application Development Company Owner or Product Owner, you need to consider the 5 legal issues encapsulated in this blog post.

Quick Facts:  

It is a no-brainer that app business is a profitable niche but few obstacles to entering the domain. The demand for mobile software is skyrocketing. According to Statista, global mobile app sales are expected to reach more than 935 billion US dollars in 2023.

As someone planning to foray into the mobile app domain, you must be thinking about what key elements should be included to make your app better than your competitor. And if you are thinking, it is not the best stage to read about the legalities involved; then you will be surprised to know that it is vital to consider the legal aspects too, right now.

If you plan to thrive in the app development business, then it crucial to comprehend legal issues linked to it from the budding stage only.

Read on this one to understand the 5 most crucial legal issues which are included in the app development process.

Legal Issues to Consider in your Application Development 

  1. NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement)
  2. Independent Contractor Agreement
  3. Privacy Policy & Data Protection
  4. Terms & Conditions
  5. App Stores Requirements

NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) – Keep your mobile app idea intact

Imagine; you have a great idea: one that you think will stir a storm in the mobile app industry. Now, the next thing that you will concern about is; protecting your idea from being getting copied. Well, you are not the only one.

Almost all the entrepreneurs stepping into this realm with an impeccable idea do so only after they have gained the confidence that their idea won’t be copied, stolen, or modified by the ones they choose to share.

Protecting the idea is paramount and is the core reason for bringing a Non-Disclosure Agreement for the mobile app into the light.

  1. NDA for Mobile Application Development 

Non Disclosure Agreement or NDA for app development is a contractual agreement that mentions both the parties involved – Client and the Mobile App Development Agency will work to protect the confidentiality of the app idea and no matter what the situation is, they will not unveil the idea to any third party.

Now that you know what NDA is for Mobile App Development definition, the next thing to look at is why do businesses even request the mobile app development agencies for an NDA?

It is required as a form of confirmation that their idea is secure till an indefinite time.

Main Types of NDA in App Development 

NDA bifurcation can be made into 3 types:

  • Unilateral NDA:

It targets two parties – one disclosing the information and one getting it. It limits the receiving party from disclosing details to anyone else.

  • Bilateral NDA:

Both the interested parties sign the NDA declaring that they both would not reveal the details to the world.

  • Multilateral NDA:

The agreement involves either three or more parties where all the ones involved are abided by law to not disclose the content of the details shared with them.

Top Things to Pay Attention to when Signing NDA

  • Choice of Laws
  • Contractual Penalties
  • Obligations of the other party
  • A firm definition of confidential information
  • Term
  • Obligation to return details
  1. Independent Contractor Agreement

So, If you are thinking  NDA is the answer to get into Mobile Application development, then you are wrong as there is more to know.

It’s useful to think of the agreement as a compass that will lead us through the entire process of cooperation, particularly when there are doubts or disputes. As a result, it’s a good idea to spell out how this partnership will work in the contract. Working with the Agile methodology, for example, is a trade standard that should not be considered nugatory in the agreement. To sum up:

  • Elucidate the methodology of cooperation

If you talk about how the cooperation will function at the negotiation stage, you will avert mismatching mutual expectations. In the agreement, mention the rules of communication, tools you will use, and techniques for arranging meetings.

  • Exit plan

It is beneficial for both parties to devise an exit plan in case the collaboration ends before the planned tenure. It is also vital to include details about the hand-over of the existing code, payment due dates, and contractual penalties – if any – for unauthorized termination of cooperation if the parties so decide.

  • Force majeure

Keeping in mind pandemic situations and other unforeseen scenarios, it is paramount to include a force majeure clause in the agreement. In case you are being hit by any uncalculated predicament, this clause will keep you covered. The clause is usually mutually binding. 

Pro Tip: Do not Skip to Consider Legal Aspect of your Mobile App from the Initial Stage  

It enhances the safety of the entrepreneur responsible for the contents of the application. Also, it will aid to avoid the extra costs of redesigning the application after the project is finished.

  1. Privacy Policy 

Are you wondering what legal requirements you should meet in connection with personal data protection?

It is one of the legal obligations to ensure the security of processing users’ data. The specific requirement varies depending on the country of distribution of your app. If you want your app to be available to European users, you need to make sure to look for the legal requirements for applications imposed by GDPR, and the legalities to download the app for the users below the age of 13 in the USA, involve Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Another factor that can affect your application is what your application does. Since there is a gamut of factors involved in the process, it is best to leave it to the lawyer involved in the matter.

You product owners bear the responsibility for data leaks. This is why you need to prudently invest in a company that makes sure to protect data from the technical side.

It’s a smart idea to adequately meet the obligations of personal data processing to make the software more appealing to data-conscious consumers.

Tips to Fulfill the Obligations of Personal Data Processing

  • Gather only a limited amount of data. Request users only for data that is necessary for the application to run smoothly.
  • Bear in mind to keep access to data limited. One of the important factors you need to keep in mind is that the access of data can only use by those people who are authorized to do so and that such access is crucial for the smooth functioning of the application.
  • Communication is the key. Many of the legal aspects regulating the protection of personal data require the owner of the application to maintain documentation linked with personal data protection. It is crucial starting such documentation already at the stage of designing the application. It also applies to offering users concise and coherent information about how the application uses their data in the form of a Privacy Policy.
  • Respect the rights of data subjects. It is important to assure your users about their data protection and to respect their rights.
  • Do not use users’ data for any other purpose than stated. It is not ethical to use the data collected for registration purposes for any other reason, such as marketing purposes. To do so, make sure to have separate consent for that.

Extra-territorial application of GDPR

It is important to mention that, according to GDPR, even if the seat of your company is not based in Europe, e.g. China or in Canada, but your target audience includes Europeans, then your app also must be compliant with GDPR. It also highlights many other legal issues which you have to keep in mind, e.g. there is an obligation to include the protection of users’ data even at the stage of designing the application.

  1. Terms & Conditions 

Terms & conditions can vary based on the country in which your application is available to users. When it comes to the application’s Terms & Conditions, a lot depends on which country you’re going to make it open to users. Many legal acts in European countries, for example, place restrictions on the contents of Terms & Conditions, such as the inclusion of clear text and legal issues. This includes the newly enacted online intermediation services legislation (which applies throughout the European Union). Above all, remember to include the following information:

  • Definition of the controller 

It is a prudent idea to include basic information about your company in the Terms & Conditions.

  • Conditions of Service Provision 

You need to describe how your application works, with the conditions of registration (e.g. age restriction) and removing the account, as well as when the agreement is ending and when does it terminate between you and the user. Also, it is worth mentioning the set of rules for safe use of the application or technical requirements, alongside the suspension and blocking of user accounts.

  • End-User License Agreement

You make this agreement available to users under a license. In Terms & Conditions, you require to specify the conditions of this license agreement.

  • Processing of Complaints and Contracts with the Controller 

Include the guidelines for handling complaints and details about how to contact you in the Terms & Conditions. Establishing a simple protocol for grievances, with several ways to reach you, is a great idea.

  • Limitation of liability

Also, the Terms & Conditions are a helpful place to describe the extent of your responsibility to consumers. You should write this document in plain language that a daily user can understand.

  1. App Store Requirements 

Your mobile app must also meet all of the criteria for app publishing outlined in Google and Apple’s respective guidelines. These emphasize the security of personal data, such as health information and information collected from minors, as well as intellectual property issues relating to your mobile product.

The Bottom Line 

The development of a mobile application is a multi-faceted and intricate process. It is vital to understand all aspects of the situation, including legal considerations, from the beginning. It will help you avoid a situation where your completed and ready application fails to satisfy legal requirements in a specific region or industry, compelling you to update the software before releasing it. If you are feeling confused about how to address the issues and legalities mentioned in this blog post, then head to our experts at GlobalHunt Technologies. We offer exquisite Mobile App Development services at affordable rates.

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