German DPAs publish guidelines for mobile apps

The German Data Protection Authorities have published guidance for mobile apps due to app developers’ and application providers’ perceived lack of privacy knowledge, as demonstrated by their product and services.

The guidelines comment on the legal and technical framework, in particular the German Telecommunications Act, but also the Federal Data Protection Act.

"With the help of this guide, it should now be possible for all app developers and app providers to create apps in compliance with the data protection regulations," said Thomas Kranig, President of the Bavarian Data Protection Commission for the Private Sector, which took the initiative to draw up the guidelines.

The DPAs say that app developers should apply Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default when developing new products. They state that the DPAs regard individuals’ IP addresses as personal data. The guidance applies to online apps for smartphones and tablets.

The guidelines, published on 16 June, (in German)

PL&B’s International Report, June 2014, includes two articles from PL&B’s Germany Roundtable in April 2014, which cover essential compliance issues in Germany.

PL&B’s 27th Annual International Conference 30 June to 2 July 2014 includes a session entitled “Top five privacy traps for apps” by Gail Crawford and Jennifer Archie, Partners at Latham & Watkins, London and Washington DC respectively.