App Terms and Conditions set out your user’s rights and obligations in relation to using your App. This is especially important where your App users are uploading content to your App or interacting with it. For example, uploading photos, personal information and intellectual property. You should also identify how personal information is used in the Privacy Policy that covers your App. Your App Terms and Conditions should also set out how you may be collecting, using and storing content. This includes credit card details, home addresses or telephone numbers. It could also include location information or other metadata about users. This clause should set out where content is stored and how it is stored. Users, however, should be responsible for their content security and have their own backup of their data.

Collecting Personal Information

Snapchat and Instagram rank as the most popular Apps on the market. They collect some of our most personal and intimate details. If you will be collecting similar information, it is important that you make this clear to your user in your Terms and Conditions. Businesses operating in Australia need to confirm they are complying with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), particularly in light of the privacy reforms earlier this year.

How Do I Tell Users I Will Be Collecting Personal Information?

When it comes to Apps which involve content being uploaded and shared with others, you should make clear which content will be shared. Typically these Apps will include detailed privacy settings that users can update. These again should be made clear to the user.

If users are uploading content, then they should warrant that they are providing you with a licence to use it.  Your Terms and Conditions will also address how you can use their content and the scope of the license given. In this context, licenses are typically broad. Users also give you permission to collect and store information about their use of the App, their phone number or email. You can read more about what your Privacy Policy should address on our website.

Endorsing Third Party User Content

In relation to user content, you should explicitly state that you do not endorse any of the content displayed by other users. Of course, it is sensible to implement detailed policies outlining acceptable user behaviour and content that can be uploaded. But you should take steps to unequivocally state in your App Terms and Conditions that you are not responsible for users uploading content. You should also communicate to your users that you maintain the right to terminate any accounts that breach your user obligation terms. Users are generally responsible for any content uploaded to their account. Even if it is by others who have access to their passwords, unless their account is hacked or accessed by fradulent means.

Conclusion

It is important to have App Terms and Conditions that address privacy issues and that reference your Privacy Policy to ensure you are complying with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). As Apps collect more and more detailed personal information and metadata, it is important that your App Terms and Conditions address this.

Clearly stating in your terms what information you are collecting and how you will use the information, will assist users to understand their risks and obligations. If you’re in need of legal advice in regards to drafting App Terms and Conditions, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755. One of our experienced business lawyers will be delighted to answer any of your questions.

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Edith Moss

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