#app, #data protection, #development
12 February 2021
Julianna Sykutera

How to Make your App GDPR Compliant

Since the General Data Protection Regulations appeared, companies have started making changes to their systems, applications, and products in order to comply with the new standards. Even though organizations had 2 years to make adjustments in their processes of collecting user data, there are still some business activities that are potential threats to customer privacy. So, if you’re not familiar with the topic and want to soon develop an application for customers in Europe, learn how to make your app GDPR compliant. 

The GDPR applies to web and mobile applications that collect personal data of people living in Europe. The trick is that it applies to all companies collecting data from people living on this continent – even if the companies physically don’t exist there. The law provides customers with more power in terms of the ways companies and organizations collect, use, store and dispose of their data. It also challenges businesses to adjust their existing platforms to new norms. Speaking of…

The new standards for digital products 

Here are the most important aspects of GDPR regarding web applications that companies need to consider: 

User agreement

It’s no longer approved to collect and process people’s data without their permission. Nowadays, even if you want to send an email to a user you have to explicitly state that and obtain user consent before you send anything. 

Explanation of how data will be used

Users need to know the aim of collecting their data but also the way it will be processed. That means they need to have easy access to their own data and be provided with all the details written in a clear and understandable way. If you use cookies for remarketing that information has to be provided along with the list of all other organizations that will have access to the data. 

The right to withdrawal 

Users need to have the right to withdraw from the agreement with your company at any time. When it happens, your company is obliged to delete all the information collected about the user. The option to delete an account should be available in your app. 

Full transparency about data status 

It’s your duty to protect user personal information and invest in proper security measures. However, if you fail and get hacked you need to inform all users about the incident as soon as possible. 

Summing up, when your app includes setting up an account, has a built-in payment system or measures parameters for analytics and remarketing – you have to start introducing changes to your product to make it GDPR compliant. 

Ways you can make your app GDPR compliant  

We listed only the general things that should be followed in your company in order to meet the new standards.

Analyze the way your app handles data 

Do you know what tracking codes are in your app? Check what exactly your product collects and decide if this information is really necessary for your business. Also, you should have access to all the data collected. 

Make sure you have the user agreement 

To increase the chances of getting the permission, make the process easier for the users. When asking for permission, use language that is easy to understand, explain the aim of the process and how you’ll use the data. You can place checkboxes in your forms to facilitate the decision. 

Update your privacy policy 

Here you should include all the information we’ve mentioned earlier, that is: 

  • What data does your app collect? 
  • How is the data collected? 
  • What is the purpose of it?
  • How will your company use the data?
  • What other organizations will have access to the information? 
  • How a user can delete his/her account following the process of erasing his/her data from the system.

Use encryption and high-level data security 

Rapidly growing cyber crimes and data theft made it an integral part for all companies to deploy strong encryption. You need to make sure that even if someone gets to your data, they won’t be able to use it. Encrypted data can be hacked too but it’s much more difficult to use them than if they were stored in the form of just plain text. 

Delete all data of users who opt-out 

An important part of the process is to make sure that if a user wants to withdraw from the agreement, your company deletes all the information collected about a given user. Make sure you have clear processes specifically for those types of actions and you’re able to assure the user about their data being erased from the system. 

We’ve recently finished a project for a data protection company

The introduction of GDPR compliance standards has created the potential for companies dealing with the protection of user data. One of our clients wanted to scale their platform into Europe, expanding their feature set however, the architecture of their software was not ready for this. Its state affected the performance and the UX of the page resulting in poor customer experience. 

Our team at Redvike stepped in to help rebuild the software, decreasing its size and making it easily scalable. See how we worked on this project →  GDPR and Data Protection Software.

Final thoughts 

For some companies, adjusting the existing system to the new law can be challenging but for sure in the long run, these efforts will pay off. Protecting and respecting users’ rights will help you build loyal and secure relationships with your clients.  

*Just to clarify – to be absolutely sure your app is GDPR compliant you should consult your product with a lawyer or a specialist in this field. This article includes general information about the protocols and data protection but each case should be considered individually. 

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