How to avoid legal issues when launching a website or mobile app


Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to launch your website or present a mobile application to the public. But at the same time, it’s harder to make an impact on the market and achieve success. The digital field is packed with countless apps and websites pages with new ones rising each day.

However, it’s not just the innovative side of apps and websites that matter. There are a lot of legal technicalities to take care of before you even think about launching your new content. Apart from thoroughly assessing the market potential and acquiring the necessary information about the target audience, there are three crucial questions to ask yourself to avoid potential legal issues down the road.

Does Your Website Collect Personal Information?

In order to create a powerful strategy for growing your brand and enhancing your business operations, you will have to collect personal information on your website. As the website and app success depends on a customer’s satisfaction, this is the best option for getting into the minds of consumers and discovering their likes, dislikes, and desires.

That being said, people have become increasingly aware of the importance of protecting their sensitive data. The truth is that many are happy to share their information such as photos, current locations, and opinions on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, but over 80% of users are more concerned about their privacy and online security today than they used to be the previous year.

Why is this? Because cybercrime is on the rise, and we have all our lifestyle information and credit card numbers linked to various accounts on the internet. So, the emphasis is utterly on the website privacy policy as a way of online protection.

A privacy policy is one of the essential documents every website and mobile appmust have. Privacy policies are required by law in many countries just like major industries such as banks and medical professionals.

How does it work? The privacy policy should consist of at least these five sections:

  • Introduction – Informing the visitors about your organization and website purpose. If the site has special terms and conditions for collecting information, this is the part in which you should point that out and make matters clear to the audience.
  • What information you collect – The site’s visitors have the right to know what type of data you are collecting. Provide all the information logged by your servers (IP addresses, hostname) and ask them to complete a form or agree to the website saving their personal information.
  • How do you collect information – What approach will you be using to gather information? Will the process be automated? By answering these questions, including whether the forms visitors fill collect other information, you can get a clear image on how to create a detailed description of collecting data.
  • Information storage– Not only do visitors deserve to know you will efficiently and safely store their info, you need to see what the storage necessities are. For example, if the servers you are using are located in the EU, you might have to ask for permission to convey info outside the union.
  • Contact Information– Make sure to allow your visitors to contact you if they need any assistance by displaying either your address, email or contact form. These days it’s important to be transparent and honest.

Do You Want to Be Legally Liable for User Actions?

When you create a new mobile app or offer services on your website, it would be smart to protect the business by designing a terms and conditions agreement. Look at this as setting the ground rules for your users via legal agreement and guidelines that protect both parties, you and the audience, from any type of data abuse. More importantly, the terms andconditions will protect you as the app/website developer, and your brand, from liability. This may include users posting inappropriate or illegal content on your website, or stealing or misusing your content.

Did you know that Tinder faced charges back in 2015 for ripping people off? That’s right, they switched their monthly user’s fee to $2.99 and forgot to tell people. Apart from Tinder, SiriusXMalso had to pay for damages that the company caused by similar unfair billing practices. Therefore, not only does your business have to be transparent, but you also have to construct a clear list of rules and define:

  • Straightforward billing terms
  • Clear terms of the “free trial” period
  • Limit of use for abusive users
  • Cancellation policy
  • Data usage and data scraping policies and restrictions

Do You Guarantee the Accuracy of Your Own Content?

If you thought the privacy policy and terms and conditions agreement are enough, you thought wrong. A legal disclaimer is an equally important document many forget to include on their websites or apps.

A legal disclaimer also protects your business from liability. Basically, with this document, you are informing the audience that you will not be held responsible for any damages due to people misinterpreting the content, or in case the purchase or any type of advice is by any means harmful.

Here are a few things the legal disclaimer does:

  • Informs users that the website or mobile app may at any time change the content, with or without notice.
  • Disclaim responsibility for the content of internal links leading to other websites.
  • Inform users that if they take actions based on the information provided by the website or mobile app, they do it at their own risk.

With the “holy legal trinity” combined, you will be safe from potential legal issues and damages that may occur otherwise. Do consider implementing these steps before releasing your new website, mobile app or any other product on the market. The risks are already high with so many competitors in the industry, so don’t allow these legal details get in your way and prevent you from growing your business.