App Terms and Conditions set out how your users can use your App as well as their obligations and rights. The document also asserts your rights as the owner of the App and protects your intellectual property. It is becoming increasingly common for users to accept the App Terms and Conditions by accessing or downloading the App, rather than ticking a box to indicate their acceptance.

Your App Terms and Conditions should set how who is eligible to use the App, whether you have an age limit or any other requirements. Typically, you will also set out whether or not you can use the App in other countries. If your App is internationally available, it is important to make this clear, as the jurisdiction in which users access the App will make a difference as to the laws that will apply. You may also have particular restrictions as to how the App can be used in Australia and, therefore, you should make it clear whether users can only access the App within Australia.

Usually, your App will not be stand alone and will be available on associated platforms such as a website. Your Terms and Conditions should make it clear that your associated terms such as your Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy also apply to your App users. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner requires smartphone app developers to embed privacy policies. Application developers must comply with Australian Privacy Law and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) guidelines. Depending on what platform your App is available, the platform’s End User Licence may apply to your users. These should be set out in your Terms and Conditions as well.

Your Terms and Conditions should also set out how your users can register on your App and their obligations to provide correct information. You should provide yourself with the option to terminate accounts if users do not provide accurate information, for example, if they provide a fake email address or age details. You should also set out your user’s obligations in relation to their passwords, for example, to keep these details confidential. You do not want to be responsible for customers who provide their account details to someone else, and they misuse the App or purchase unwanted items. The App users should also be obliged to notify you if something like this happens, or if somebody hacks their account.

The excitement of developing and launching your App can easily overshadow the importance of a clearly drafted Terms and Conditions. Critically, this document will outline the expectations and obligations for your App users.

Conclusion

If you don’t know how to go about drafting your App Terms and Conditions, you should speak with a qualified IT lawyer, preferably one with experience drafting App Terms and Conditions. At LegalVision, we work with App owners and start-ups on a regular basis and can assist with you legal issues related to your App. So if you’re in need of legal advice, contact us on 1300 544 755. One of our experienced IT lawyers would be delighted to step you through this process and answer any of your questions! In the meantime, continue reading about another important clause your App should contain: Copyright and Intellectual Property.

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Edith Moss

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