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‘Appy Campers - Mobile Apps and Data Privacy

06 March 2014

Mason Hayes & Curran Technology Law Blog

by Jevan Neilan, Associate

Mobile applications (“apps”) are enjoying ever increasing popularity. It is estimated that total app downloads in 2013 alone will have been in the region of 102 billion, almost double that of 2012. Although around 91 per cent are still provided free of charge, 2013 will have seen total app revenues in the region of $25bn. With the increase in demand for smart devices reflecting a consistent decline in the PC market, the app sector is booming.

Smart devices collect and produce significant quantities of data, many of which are personal data. Users create and save large amounts of data, while the devices themselves also collect and process data from their range of sensors.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enable apps to access the device components and the variety of sensors via the operating system (OS). APIs may provide apps with the ability to access and write contact data, send various forms of messages, use the camera, record audio and access stored pictures. APIs can also provide device information by way of a device’s unique identification number (UDID).