European Regulators Issue Opinion on Mobile Apps

On March 14, 2013, the European data protection regulators (the Article 29 Working Party, or WP) issued a 30-page opinion addressing how mobile apps should comply with EU data protection law (the Opinion). The main focus of the Opinion is on app developers, but it also describes the obligations of other parties involved in the development and distribution of apps, such as app stores, operating system and device manufacturers, and third-party advertising providers.

While the WP opinions are not binding, they give a clear indication of how data protection authorities in the EU (DPAs) would interpret their national laws and therefore should be taken into account when developing new apps targeted at EU individuals. According to the Opinion, the use of apps entails a number of risks such as a lack of transparency and awareness with regard to the type of processing an app may undertake, a lack of meaningful consent from individuals, poor data security measures, and a high degree of fragmentation among the various players in the app ecosystem.1 To address these risks, the WP provides a number of recommendations that we have summarized below…..

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