Developing apps, use of location data, cross-channel marketing
Many of our clients – including major international e-commerce retailers, providers of customer loyalty systems, banking, gaming providers and utility companies – realise the importance of apps as a part of their business model.
Successful app concepts not only provide the user with added value, but are also responsible for the service provider’s profit. To ensure that our clients get the most out of their apps, we guarantee that their implementation is legally compliant. Complete clarity regarding potentially existing risks is necessary.
We advise our clients throughout every phase of a project’s implementation: from the initial idea to the launch of the product and beyond. The same goes for the revision of existing apps.
The legal app-specific challenges our clients face are just as varied as their individual business models. Apps used within a company by employees face different requirements than apps that are distributed by app stores. If location data and technologies such as RFID and iBeacon (location-based services) are used, then a consent concept that is not only legally sound, but practical in its development must be created. At the same time, user expectation needs to correspond with the usability of the app. Another aspect of a successful app concept is the development and implementation of practicable consent and data utilisation concepts. This is done to ensure that the data that is collected and used for advertising can be used when the user is on and offline. If the client’s business model provides for the cross-channel use of data, then system for informed consent as well as a data sharing concept must be integrated into the business model. Moreover, the extensive requirements of consumer protection, competition, copyright and youth protection law must be respected. The operators of app stores hold app providers to extensive legal obligations. While information requirements are the focus of shopping and customer loyalty apps, gaming apps pose the issue of youth protection regulations. As part of open source compliance checks, we examine whether the requirements of open source licenses are complaint and whether the information contained in the app’s open source components is contrary to distribution in the app stores.
Despite the importance of apps in digital business, many legal issues related to apps are not fully legally clarified. Violations of the law can entail not only legal disputes with supervisory authorities, but also fines and reputational damage. Like the sword of Damocles, eviction from an app store is an ever-present fear. Companies with an app-based business model are therefore advised to minimise legal risks as early as possible.
In our consulting experience, most app-specific risks are not difficult to resolve. In addition to our knowledge of the legal framework, we refer to our extensive experience and detailed knowledge of the regulatory decision-making process when our clients are faced with technical and economic concerns.
We provide expert opinions and develop practically implemented consent and data utilisation concepts for our clients. We also design approval texts and explanatory texts, as well as advise our clients on the best way to distribute their apps – to major app stores or elsewhere. We always keep the economic and technical conditions of our clients as well as the usability of the product in mind. All of our recommendations are strictly based on the practical needs of our clients.