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If you have developed an app, you will need an efficient terms and conditions document to inform users of their rights and obligations, impart important information, and protect your business. Alongside your app terms and conditions, you should also have a privacy policy or statement that details how you handle your users’ personal information. However, it can also be helpful to include an app privacy clause in your terms and conditions document in addition to your privacy policy. It can provide a summary of how you secure and protect their personal information and inform them of their own privacy-related responsibilities. Therefore, this article will provide five tips for a good privacy and security clause in your app terms and conditions.

1. Tell Your Customers What Information You Collect

The Privacy Act requires that you tell people when you collect their personal information, as well as:

  • what information you collect;
  • why you collect it;
  • who has access to their information;
  • the fact that they can request access and corrections to their information; 
  • their choices about what information they give;
  • whether they can refuse to give you information;
  • your contact details; and
  • whether any laws apply.

Your privacy policy should cover all of these points, but your app privacy clause can also include these. In particular, where it relates to your terms and conditions, you need to detail exactly what information you collect from your customers, both personal and non-personal. Kinds of information include:

  • device data, such as make, battery life, and wi-fi connection;
  • location data;
  • uploaded content;
  • credit card details;
  • email addresses; and
  • anything that can identify your users.

Be sure to format your clause so that it is easily readable, using bullet points or tables. Users need to know what personal information your app collects so that they can make informed decisions about what data they give you.

2. Identify the Choices and Options Customers Have

Users or customers want to control their privacy, so you should detail what options they have in terms of managing what data they give you. 

For example, if giving you their location data is optional, be sure to detail this.

It is important to establish these choices so that users know exactly what they agree to, including what rights they may be giving up. Detail both their obligations and permissions attached to these choices, so you can fully inform your customers. If something goes wrong and they raise a grievance, you can potentially protect your business against potential liability because of this prior agreement.

3. Explain Your Licensing Privileges for Uploaded Content

Intellectual property rights refer to the ownership a person has over their expressions of their own ideas. When users upload content to your app, such as their photos or words, this content can be their intellectual property. In your privacy and security clause, you need to detail that they give you a licence to use it when they do so. You should explain the nature and scope of this licence in a way that your users can understand.

4. Provide Reassurances About Security and Storage

When you collect their personal information, users and customers want to know that they can rely on you to handle it responsibly. Therefore, it is a good idea to provide some brief details about the security measures you have in place in your privacy and security clause. Under the Privacy Act, you need to implement reasonable safeguards for the personal information you hold, according to the context. So, you need to cater your security measures accordingly.

For example, you may include a statement in your app terms and conditions saying something like, “We use effective and up-to-date encryption techniques to secure any personal information you give us.”

5. Remind Users of Their Own Obligations

If users interact with each other on your app or upload their own content, you need to distance yourself from their actions to protect your own liability. Include disclaimers in your privacy and security clause detailing what you are and are not responsible for, such as prohibited user conduct. You should also detail:

  • a statement that you do not endorse your users’ actions;
  • your right to terminate accounts that violate your terms and conditions or privacy policy; and
  • an explanation of users’ own privacy obligations.

For example, you may implement a reporting feature for users to report other users’ sharing of their personal information without consent.

Key Takeaways

You need to ensure your privacy and security clause protects your business interests and helps you comply with New Zealand privacy law. Reference your privacy policy and clearly inform users of what they need to know. If you would like more information or help with drafting your app terms and conditions, contact LegalVision’s data, privacy, and IT lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a privacy and security clause?

A privacy and security clause is a part of your terms and conditions that details how you protect user privacy and the corresponding security measures you use. You can use this clause in conjunction with your longer and more detailed privacy policy.

Does my app need terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions protect your business against potential grievances and inform your users of their own rights and obligations. Therefore, your app should have a terms and conditions document relevant to your needs.

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