New data protection guidance for app developers

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched its new guidance for app developers to help combat the public’s perception that personal information collected through apps is not being appropriately protected under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

The ICO, responsible for data protection policy and enforcement, has turned its attention to app development, ‘one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries’. The ICO intends to address the public concern regarding collection and use by app developers of consumers’ personal information by producing new guidance aimed at app developers.

The DPA stems from EC Directive 95/46, which was drafted at a time when the internet itself was (relatively) only in its infancy. The data protection implications of apps were not at the forefront of legislators’ minds at the time. The intention, in order to address future technological developments, was therefore to keep the UK law technology neutral. However, these new programs have raised issues not necessarily found in existing technologies, particularly due to the small screen in which they are viewed, the data that the app may access from an individual’s smart device and the security of that data once stored by the developer…

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