In today’s digital age, consumers have access to a whole new shopping experience via mobile apps. These apps provide obvious benefits to consumers, such as real-time price comparisons, alerts for deals from their favorite retailers, as well as easy checkout methods straight from swiping their phone at the counter.

With 58% of U.S. adults owning a smartphone (as of January 2014), the possibilities are endless for retailers looking to take advantage. However, there are still precautions businesses must take to make sure they demonstrate transparency with the user data being collected from these apps.

According to a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, these apps often fail to provide information important to consumers concerning the privacy of data collected, liabilities, and payment disputes. Although nearly all apps linked to privacy policies, these policies used vague language which stated the company’s rights to collect, use and share consumer data –making it difficult for consumers to understand how their data was actually being used.

To address this concern, the report provides various recommendations for companies to enhance consumer privacy practices with their mobile apps, including:

    • Clarity & Transparency: Apps should more clearly describe how they collect, use, and share consumer data – this gives consumers the choice to evaluate and compare apps based on how their data is handled.
    • Safe & Secure Payments: companies need to disclose consumers’ rights and liability limits for unauthorized or fraudulent transactions.  
    • Honor & Implement Data Security Practices: App developers should implement strong protections for the data being collected, and companies should honor those commitments to stated security practices.

The report also urges consumers to be more proactive and aware by seeking out this information before downloading an app.

Since nearly 8/10 consumers won’t download an app they don’t trust. Businesses need to show customers that they are committed to mobile app privacy best practices. Earn your customer’s trust and stay compliant through our TrustArc TRUSTe Data Collection Certification.