Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Making mobile app privacy your competitive advantage

Making mobile app privacy your competitive advantage

9 July 2014

The Privacy Commissioner has released a new resource for businesses and app developers to help them understand their legal obligations under the Privacy Act when collecting personal information through mobile apps.

Apps can gather large amounts of information about their users but apps often don’t explain clearly what information they collect and for what purpose. Over 64 percent of New Zealanders own a smartphone and worryingly, in a recent NetSafe survey, 75 percent said there was nothing sensitive stored on their device.

While consumers may assume that established, trusted businesses will develop trustworthy apps, this is not necessarily the case. It is important that agencies, businesses and app developers know that it is unlawful to collect more information than is necessary. It is also important that consumers are informed about the permissions they agree to when they download an app.

The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner’s Need to Know or Nice to Have guidance is now available and designed to help businesses build user trust and loyalty through good privacy practices.

When apps don’t convey basic information about what the business is collecting personal information for, it’s difficult for people to feel confident that their information is being looked after.

In May, the Privacy Commissioner’s Office joined 27 overseas privacy enforcement authorities from the Global Enforcement Network (GPEN) in carrying out a survey of commonly used apps. As well as international apps, we surveyed a number of New Zealand ones.

The New Zealand results showed that only 50 percent of the apps examined had a link to their privacy policies available on the marketplace listing. Once they were installed on a device, 64 percent did not display or have any link to a privacy policy within the app itself.

While the overall international results are still being compiled, our results show that not enough information is being provided to users about how an app accesses and uses their personal information.

That’s why we’re making available out Need to Know or Nice to Have guidance for businesses and mobile app developers. This comprehensive app privacy resource is based on five simple concepts:

1. Make a plan and spot the risks
2. When a user makes a decision to download your app, be there with the right information
3. ‘Nice to know’ does not mean ‘need to know
4. Invest some time working out how to make privacy clear and relevant to your users
5. Providing information in real time is as important as being up front in advance.

The Need to Know or Nice to Have guidance is now available on our website at


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Trade: NZ Trade Deficit Widens To A Record In September

Oct. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's monthly trade deficit widened to a record in September as meat exports dropped to their lowest level in more than three years. More>>


Animal Welfare: Cruel Practices Condemned By DairyNZ Chief

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.

Tim says the video released today by Farmwatch shows some footage of transport companies and their workers, as well as some unacceptable behaviour by farmers of dragging calves. More>>


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


International Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news