Widener University School of Law graduate, Managing Legal Editor at TermsFeed.
On this page
- 1.1.1. United States
- 1.1.2. Australia
- 1.1.3. In the UK
- 1.1.4. In the EU
- 2.1. Example from Pinterest
- 3.1. Example from Facebook Android App
- 3.2. Example from Firefox
- 4. Summary
This article will break down what you'll need to do to comply with legal requirements and with Google, and how you can do so.
At Step 1, select the Website option or App option or both.
Answer some questions about your website or app.
Answer some questions about your business.
- First and last names
- Email addresses
- Financial information (bank account number, credit card number, etc.)
- Shipping and billing addresses
- Social security numbers
The Australian Privacy Act of 1988 lists 13 Privacy Principles that companies that collect personal information must adhere to.
In the UK
Data should only be collected for legitimate business reasons, and should only be collected in non-intrusive ways.
In the EU
- Log into your Google Play Developer Console. Create one if you don't have one yet.
- In the left menu, under the Policy section, select App content:
Example from Pinterest
Under the "Support" section, the user can tap on "See terms and privacy:"
Normal permissions cover areas where there are very few if any risks to the privacy of the user.
Dangerous or sensitive permissions cover the areas where the app requests data or access to resources that involve private user information, and could potentially affect the personal data stored on the user's device.
- Camera - If an app can access a camera, it may be able to turn on the camera and record video without a user's consent. This can obviously be a huge violation of the user's privacy.
- Microphone - Recording audio is a sensitive permission because it will require use of the device's microphone, which raises issues of user privacy.
If your app will be accessing multiple sensitive areas of a user's Android device, you'll need to request permission for each area.
Example from Facebook Android App
Facebook's Android app has a "Permissions" screen under the "Settings" section of the app. This screen summarizes and explains the list of permissions that Facebook requires, asks for and uses:
For example, when the Facebook's app needs to access the device's camera, it explains why it requires this permisson: so that the app can "access camera roll and enable other features."
Then, Android's default permissions default screen will appear. This screen asks for permission to be granted to take pictures and record videos:
It also requests permission to record audio:
Example from Firefox
The Firefox Browser for Android requests multiple permissions at once, but each has a separate spot on the list with a drop-down arrow where a user can find out more information about each sensitive area:
You can also include a link in your permissions request box where users can find out more information before deciding to allow or deny the request:
The more permissions your app requests, the more likely it is that you'll be dealing with sensitive information and that your permissions will be deemed dangerous.
Users appreciate the transparency and clarity, and it can help keep you compliant with privacy laws as they grow and change with the digital world.
- Collects any personal information from or about users via the app, or
- Requests permission to access sensitive areas of the mobile device
- To your app's listing page in the Google Play Store, and
- Within your app itself
These easy steps will keep you compliant with international laws, Google's policies, and Android's platform requirements. It will also give your app users the transparency they want when it comes to knowing how their personal information and personal mobile devices are used by you and your app.