General Data Protection Regulation (aka GDPR) is a legislation document that drives many business owners into fear. With huge fees for non-compliance (up to 20 million euros), it’s now important for businesses to follow GDPR.
However, looking at the way how GDPR articles are made, you’ll see a long list of rules written in legal lingo. It’s hard to understand what all of this is about.
Luckily, the main principles of GDPR are pretty straightforward. In order to stay compliant to the new law, the app developers can do just as little as follow a few most important tips.
Tip #1. Ask for customer data only when necessary
Before the introduction of GDPR, business owners were following the regulations accepted back in the nineties. Needless to say, they had pretty loose data storage restrictions especially when it came to the web.
In over 20 years, the web has progressed, and so did the method of data collection and storage. It was commonplace for apps to ask for the data just in case – a lot of developers enabled access to calls, files, and the geolocation even without asking for permission.
This is no longer possible with GDPR. According to the legislation, the presumed consent to store data is no longer valid. Now, the app creators need to ask a direct consent for every bit of data they ask for.
In order to make sure the numbers of DAUs (daily active users) won’t fall due to a ton of consents, one has to give, ask only for the information that is absolutely necessary in order for the GDPR compliant mobile app to work. The wish to mine as much data as possible is strong but it’s better to resist and stay true to the value of privacy.
Tip #2. Keep all the personal data encrypted
During the last couple of years, we’ve seen a ton of hacks. Even big companies like Target didn’t stay out of it. All of that forced the governments to enforce a stronger policy regarding personal data breaches.
If your app stores the personal information of its users, be sure to do it the right way. One of the most popular and efficient ways to do it is data encryption. Basically, it’s the process of transforming the data into code that can only be read if you know a password. It’s highly recommended to encrypt names, phones, birth dates, addresses, and other PD.
Tip #3. Switch to HTTPS protocol
A huge part of GDPR compliance means approaching data security and protection seriously. Switching from HTTP to HTTPS protocol is one the basic ways to improve your data protection.
Tip #4. Explain all the “why”s
Making sure a user understands what his PD is used for is one of the basic principles in GDPR. Practically, it’s pretty easy to implement. Before a user installs and starts using the app, explain to him what you want to do with all the information you request access to.
It can be implemented via giving users access to documentation or building a pop-up into the app which provides the argumentation for every category of data you’re requesting.
Tip #5. Limit the usage of business intelligence
Chasing the desire to get as much data as possible for the biggest number of users possible, a lot of companies use BI. However, according to GDPR, not all usage of BI is justified and compliant.
Tracking user activity itself is not a penal offense for GDPR. However, you can be punished for using it in case a user doesn’t know his behaviors are tracked, can’t trace the tracking, or reject it.
As many users grow concerned about being followed while using mobile apps, it’s recommended to limit the usage of BI altogether, otherwise, you might lose a fair share of your user base.
GDPR has been reinforced for less than a year and it’s still unclear how some points have to be practically implemented into a website or a mobile app. However, the main principles are still basic – one has the right to be forgotten, control the usage of his personal data, and consent on giving the app any type of access.
For developers, it makes things a little challenging. However, there are a few quick tips you should follow to know your app is GDPR-compliant. That means collecting data only when necessary, keep all the information encrypted, enhance your security by switching to HTTPS, explain the reason you need this or that data, and avoid user tracking as much as possible.