3rd Party App Developers – Who Creates Your Privacy Policy?

If you hire a 3rd party app developer, be sure to agree in writing on who is responsible for the app privacy policy.  Too frequently, the privacy policy is left out of the development agreement, leaving the client to figure out the information collection practices of an app they did not develop.

The privacy policy must detail what information is collected, how information is used and who information is disclosed to.  The developer is in the best position to prepare the privacy policy as they know what information the app collects.  While the client may have an idea of what information is collected, mere ideas are too speculative for the exactness required in a privacy policy.

When entering into an agreement with a 3rd party app developer, be sure that privacy policy responsibility is addressed in the agreement.  Two common approaches are:

1.  Assistance:  the developer will provide the client with all information necessary for the client to create a privacy policy and, if necessary, will work with the client’s lawyer to collect this information.  Limits may be set on the amount of time the developer will devote to this.

2.  Create:  the developer will create an original privacy policy for the client.  Never allow a developer to copy another company’s privacy policy as this policy does not reflect your information practices and may constitute copyright infringement.

If the developer does not want to assist with a privacy policy, consider looking elsewhere.  A “finished” app still requires legal documents to protect your company and to comply with the law.  A developer that won’t assist with legal compliance is not providing a complete product.

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