What Should App Developers Know About GDPR? – [Everything About GDPR For App Developers]

By Harikrishna Kundariya Mobile May 15, 2019 14 min read 466 Views

The short form GDPR is being heard more and more today. It is a new regulation that seeks to protect the citizens of the European Union against wrongly using their details.

This regulation assumes much importance in today’s scenario where different websites and mobile apps for business are collecting personal information for various purposes.

The regulation has been brought about by the European Union and affects all entities that use the personal information of their citizens. For our article, we will limit the discussion to how GDRP for App Developers becomes vital.

We will try to explain everything you should know about GDPR and how you can prevent violating the regulation.

What Is GDPR Compliance?

The first question you need to answer is, What Is GDPR Compliance❓

So, let’s analyze that aspect first.

GDPR is the short form for the General Data Protection Regulation. The European Union passed the regulation on 25th May 2018. This regulation aims to hand over control of personal data to the citizens.

The people will control how their data is being stored or used. It means that no organization can use personal data as they want without the person’s consent.

GDPR Checklist affects every organization that has customers in the European Union. It also covers websites and applications which are visited and used by the people of the region.

It will mean that almost all the companies in the world come under this law. Nobody can leave out the large population of the European Union from being their customers.

We guess that knowing the penalty for violating this law will make you sit up and read this article with more concentration.

A violation could attract a fine of 4% of your total annual turnover or €20 million-whichever is higher❗

That probably jerked you back to attention. But there is no need to worry. There are ways to ensure compliance.

As a mobile app development company, you must see how you are handling user data presently. You must check what protection you are offering to the data that you collect through your app.

You must explore what more you need to do to ensure GDPR Compliance Requirements gets fulfilled.

  • The European Union adopted GDPR on 25th May 2018 intending to protect personal data of the citizens of the European Union.
  • All organizations that use the data of EU citizens should abide by this regulation.
  • All companies, websites or mobile apps which use the data have to comply with the law.
  • The fine for violation of this law is 4% of the company’s global annual turnover or €20 million which is higher.
  • Mobile app developers should ensure that they don’t violate the regulation and see what they should do for this purpose.

Europe And Data Privacy

Europeans consider their details a very private matter. They don’t want to share it unless there is a need.

GDPR For App Developers

It is what has prompted them to bring in GDPR. It is not just the people who are keen about data protection but the companies also. They publicize this in a big way.

A company that advertises that it doesn’t use private data will get a good welcome in Europe.

Companies make sure that their data policies are public. Organizations in Europe publicize their data policy very boldly on their websites.

Unlike many countries where data protection is only for namesake, Europe considers it a severe thing. GDPR is very important to them, and it is best if app developers understood this and ensured complete compliance.

Basic Principles Of GDPR

The objective of GDPR is to give complete control of personal data to the people.

Towards this goal, they have laid down four basic principles.

GDPR PrinciplesEvery website, data processor and app developer must respect these principles.

  • Access To Personal Data: All the users have the right to know clearly how the companies, websites, mobile apps or data processor use the data.
  • Data Portability: The users must be able to transfer their data from one service provider to another quickly.
  • Right To Be Forgotten: The service provider should delete all data about the user upon receipt of a request. You must remove all the data from all records.
  • Information On Data Breach: The app publishers have to inform the users about any data breach. They should notify national supervisory authorities within 72 hours of the violation.

Making GDPR Compliant App

mobile app GDPR compliance

You can see from the amount of penalty how serious they are about compliance with GDPR. You must be careful to ensure that you follow the Mobile App GDPR Compliance. Though they have not laid down any process, there are some broad guidelines you can follow to ensure complete compliance.

You are entirely responsible for the personal data your app collects. The term personal data can refer to any information that can identify the person.

It can be any information like phone numbers, email ids, name, user name, location, etc.

It is your responsibility to protect all these data from breaches.

Relevance: Make sure that you require all the information you seek from the users.

Consent: You must obtain permission from the users before you collect their details.

Accountability: Give proper answers to users’ questions about their data.

Security: Take care to encrypt personal information and use HTTPS to secure your communication.

Transparency: You must inform users about any breach of security or data leaks.

Portability: You should implement a system for data portability.

Privacy: You must not track user activity. You should destroy cookies after the user has logged out.

Disclosure: Share information with users regarding logs that record location, IP address, and data sharing with third parties.

Safety: Store the user logs as an encrypted record.

Clarity: Make terms and conditions simple and easy to understand. Make sure users read them.

Removal: Completely remove user data when they leave the service.

Ways To Stay Compliant

It is not easy for Mobile App Developers to stay fully compliant with the regulations. Apps integrate many third parties and SDKs who are all requesting for user data. Having a track of all these entities is difficult. But it is necessary that you stay compliant with GDPR.

Though it is difficult for app publishers, some ways will make it easy to develop GDPR Complaint Mobile Apps.

Let us look at some of the ways that you can make your app adhere to regulations. There are ways to manage, sync and audit user consent in the app.

Privacy By Design

GDPR Compliance For Small Business mandates confidentiality by design. It means that the design of the app must be in such a way that it integrates the privacy of a user from the beginning itself.

You must think of user privacy and protection of user data when you start planning your app. You don’t have the freedom to leave it to the last.

User Opt-In

It is a unique way to stay compliant. You can use opt-in to get your information. It is also an excellent way to engage with your users. It will help you retain your customers on your app. But you must take care of the timing of asking for opt-in.

You must not ask for all the permissions at the beginning itself. You must make the user understand what they will gain by sharing their information. The user will be clear about what purpose you are using the data.


It should be easy for your users to opt out of the permissions. It is mandatory to allow them to withdraw their consents. There should be a system to enable them to opt out of either all agreements or some of them.

As an app developer, you should have the facilities for the user to opt out any time. It is not enough to give control of data to the user. They must be able to choose the kind of data that you can use.

Answering User Requests

Under GDPR Questions and Answers, you must answer questions from users regarding their data. You must let them know how and where you store data. Users can place a Subject Access Request which you must respond to within one month. You get three months to answer more complex questions.

Failure to answer the question would amount to a violation of the law. It is better to develop an internal system to answer all the queries from the customers.

Managing Different Devices

It is another problem that you will face. People keep using different devices and changing apps. You should be able to handle the data across all the devices. Users may be using the same apps across various devices. You need to understand the GDPR Impact On Business.

Syncing the settings among the devices is necessary. It will ensure that opt-out will be useful in all the devices. Using data from any device which the user has denied permission can amount to a violation of the regulations.

Managing Third Parties

Apps don’t run alone. There are many third-party integrations in all apps. There are also SDKs that have access to user data. You need to ensure that all these also follow the preferences of the user concerning using personal data.

You need to create an audit record. You must get confirmation from the third party about following your requests about user data. You must record this confirmation. It will ensure that your audit record will contain the approval from all third parties.

Recording All Consents

You must have a record of all the consents received. You must also keep a detailed history of opt-outs and adherence of this by the third-party entities.

It will keep you safe. ?

When you have such a record, there is no way anyone can blame you for violating the regulations.

Encrypt Contact Forms

It is not just from authentications that you collect user data. One of the other places where you collect user data is in contact forms. The minimum information that contact forms need to have is email ids, phone numbers, and country of residence.

The above information also come under personal data. You must inform the users how you will store this data. They should even know how long you intend to keep this information with you. It is better to use secure encryption to save these details.

Track Activity With Permission

Many e-commerce applications track user activity. It helps the users also to see products that will be more to their preference.

With the new regulation in place, app developers must first seek permission before they start tracking the users’ activities.

Storing Loss

If your application needs to track the location, you must inform the users about it. The users should know what for what purpose you are using this information.

The users have the right to know how long you will store this information. You must ensure that the logs are not saving any other sensitive information.

Security Questions

If the application requires the users to answer security questions, please make sure that the problem doesn’t include any personal details.

You cannot ask the mother’s maiden name or such information. If the user has the freedom to create the questions you must inform them not to use any personal details.

Terms & Conditions

Ensure that your business Mobile App with GDPR rules has the terms and conditions mentioned clearly on the landing page.

It is also mandatory to make the language of the terms and conditions as simple as possible. Users must be able to understand the terms. If there is any change in the terms, you must inform the users.

Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer

All app developers or companies may not need it. But if your app must collect a lot of data for the core function, then you should consider appointing a Data Protection Officer. It will focus on implementing Data Protection Regulation standards.

The person will help you in ensuring compliance with the GDPR Principles. You can be away from unwanted troubles.

  • Ensure that you include GDPR Summary for data privacy in the application design itself.
  • Data protection by design is mandatory. It is not a choice. You cannot leave it till the last.
  • Opt-in is an excellent method to ensure data privacy. You give them the freedom to reveal details.
  • Make opt-in an opportunity to engage your customers.
  • You must offer Opt-in at the right time. Don’t ask for all permissions when registering in the app. You should maintain GDPR App Permission
  • Make your users understand what they gain by revealing their details.
  • You must give the users a choice to opt out of permissions. The process must be accessible.
  • Users must be able to withdraw all the permissions or some of it.
  • Answer queries about data privacy very clearly. Users have the right to know how you use their details.
  • You should sync the settings between all the devices. You cannot have one device storing details for which the user has withdrawn particulars in another device.
  • You must ensure that the integrated third parties also follow the same data policy as you.
  • Third parties should confirm that they are following the equal data protection. You should record their confirmation.
  • Have a system to regularly audit third parties and SDKs.
  • You must record all consents. Having a record of opt-outs and third-party verification will keep you safe.
  • Details you collect in contact forms also fall under the purview of GDPR. You must let the user know how you use these details.
  • Ensure to use secure encryption for details you collect in contact forms.
  • If your app needs to track the users’ activities, you must seek permission for this.
  • You must store logs about users’ locations, and you must inform users about this.
  • If there are security questions in your app make sure to prevent personal questions.
  • If the user can create the security questions, themselves inform them that they should avoid questions regarding personal details.
  • The terms and conditions should be available on the landing page. Make them as simple and easy to understand.
  • You should assess the requirement for appointing a data protection officer.

Read also: How Much Does It Cost To Develop a Price Comparison App?

GDPR Is An Opportunity, Not A Threat

GDPR For Software Developers

It is suitable for app developers to understand the European Union is not trying to block apps from other parts of the world. They are very serious when it comes to the privacy of their personal data.

It is the reason for adapting the GDPR. Developers should also know the GDPR Enforcement Outside EU.

App developers around the world can make this a great opportunity. They must advertise the steps they take to ensure the protection of details. The citizens of the European Union will favor such apps that take the pains to protect their information. So, GDPR App is the way forward.

Make it very clear that your apps protect the details of the user. You can make this as a selling point for your app.

Advertise the fact that you are using all means to ensure that there is no leakage of information from your app. Have this fact written in a way that users can see it very clearly. It is an excellent method to beat the competition.


All Custom Mobile App Development company must start implementing systems to protect the personal data of its users. The GDPR Regulation is in place, and other countries could follow soon. With data leaks happening even in big organizations, people are wary about sharing their personal details.

Companies need the details of their app users for better engagement. The collection of such information is one of the main reasons for launching mobile apps. But people are becoming aware that there could be a leak of their personal information and someone could use this for the wrong purposes.

Know What Is GDPR and Start implementing the GDPR Retention Requirements and make people know about it. It adds value to your app. It makes your company and your app more acceptable to the public. European Union is too big a market for any company to ignore.

Disclaimer: We at eSparkBiz Technologies have created this blog with all the consideration and utmost care. We always strive for excellence in each of our blog posts and for that purpose, we ensure that all the information written in the blog is complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date. However, we can’t always guarantee that the information written in the blog correct, accurate or up-to-date. Therefore, we always advise our valuable readers not to take any kind of decisions based on the information as well as the views shared by our authors. The readers should always conduct an in-depth research before making the final decision. In addition to these, all the logos, 3rd part trademarks and screenshots of websites & mobile apps are the property of the individual owners. We’re not associated with any of them.

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya

Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, app lover, technology savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz @Mobile App Development Company where you can Hire Mobile App Developer. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on app development.


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