App developers invest a significant amount of time, energy and money into creating and marketing their product. It is important that you take steps to make sure that you protect your business when users begin to interact with it. Your App Terms and Conditions sets out how users can use your App.
Depending on the nature and function of your App, your Terms should include a number of disclaimers and clauses which will reduce your liability in relation to your App. Importantly, you cannot contract out of the consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law. If they apply to your app, you are then required to satisfy the obligations. These include prohibiting misleading and deceptive conduct when trading and providing information to users that purposely misleads or is fraudulent. For example, failing to disclose upfront that users require in-app purchases to receive the App’s complete experience. The Australian Consumer Law sets out that businesses cannot get around these obligations by simply including a disclaimer and liability clause. So, what steps can you take to protect your business?
Use at Your Own Risk
Your Terms should set out that all users who use your App do so at their own risk and that you are not responsible for any outcome of using the app. You should also set out that you do not make any warranties or representations as to the content of the App, the quality or availability.
Disclaimers and App Content
Your disclaimers should address your App’s nature and the content you are providing. For example, if you are providing any information about health, fitness or nutrition, you should disclaim that your App should not substitute medical advice and that you are just providing information about these topics. If you are providing financial information or advice in your App, you should again disclaim that this is not tailored to your users particular situation. Your Terms should clearly set out that you are not liable for any business and or financial decisions they make based on the App. If you are providing financial advice or services, you should also check whether you require an Australian Financial Services Licence.
Disclaimers and Third Party
Where your App involves the interaction of parties outside of the App, for example, meeting up, selling or buying products, etc. you should disclaim that you have not approved of or screened other users and that you are not responsible for what they do outside of the App. You should also limit your liability to the fullest extent possible and ensure that users indemnify you against claims and legal actions.
When drafting your App Terms and Conditions, it is important to have in place full disclaimers to protect your business. Having an App that provides advice or allows users to meet up can expose you to avoidable risk.
If you require more information about how you can protect yourself and would like assistance in drafting your App Terms and Conditions, get in touch! At LegalVision, we have significant experience working with App developers and companies. Contact us on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experienced business lawyers.
You may also find the following articles on App Terms and Conditions relevant:
- App Terms and Conditions: Acceptable Use and Prohibited Use Clause
- App Terms and Conditions: User Information, Privacy and Security Clause
- App Terms and Conditions: User Warranties, Payments Clause
- App Terms and Conditions: Acceptance, Eligibility and Additional Term Clause
- App Terms and Conditions: Copyright and Intellectual Property