Top 11 Legal Issues to Consider to Protect Your App in 2024

Peeyush Singh April 22, 2024
legal issues in mobile app development

We are living in the ‘app age’ where minor mobile app development legal issues can result in dire consequences such as legal penalties or removal from the app store. Thus, addressing these issues is essential to ensure the security and success of your business.

With over 6.3 billion smartphone users worldwide and over seven million apps across Android and iOS platforms, it is no surprise that the mobile app industry is thriving by leaps and bounds. According to Grand View Research, the global mobile app market was valued at $206.85 billion in 2022 and is poised to grow at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2023 to 2030. From gaming, music, and entertainment to healthcare, finance, and eCommerce, there is an app for everything.

However, while app development is progressively turning into a lucrative investment for businesses across industries, taking care of the legal aspects has become unprecedentedly critical to protect applications from any sort of complications, failure, or penalties.

Mobile application market

To help businesses seamlessly navigate through building legal and regulatory-compliant applications, here we have listed 11 major legal aspects to look at during mobile app development in 2024.

Capitalize on the growing app trend with Appinventiv

Top 11 Legal Aspects to Consider during Mobile App Development

Legal considerations in mobile app development are critical to ensure regulatory compliance with laws protecting developers, users, and businesses alike. Here are some crucial mobile app legal requirements that you must consider to ensure the protection and success of your app in 2024.

Crucial Considerations to Build Legally Compliant Apps

1.  Confidentiality Agreements

Sign a confidentiality agreement to protect your app ideas from getting pirated. In most app development environments, confidentiality issues may arise when outsourcing third parties. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is considered the most familiar way to protect your product idea. Generally, NDAs restrict information dissemination about a particular project or product. They also limit the information to the people who have signed the document. For the uninitiated, NDAs can be signed with multiple parties.

NDAs are especially useful in the following situations:

  • NDAs protect sensitive information disclosed during the app development phase. (For instance, passwords, source code, or business plans).
  • They protect your business from possible risks when outsourcing people who have also worked with competitors.
  • Keep your app a secret while under development.
  • Maintain confidentiality of trade secrets.

2. Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property (IP) protection relates to all work that is original and created during the mobile app development process. During the app development process, you and your team will create original content, app ideas, UI/UX designs, logos, app names, source code, etc. All these original elements are considered IP and belong to you. Your company needs to register them as trademarks, copyrights, or patents to protect the app idea.

  • Copyright – It protects your app’s source code, artistic or written work, and design. Your app will be safe from unauthorized copying.
  • Patents – Patent protection covers certain methods, processes, and products used in app development. They are generally new and non-obvious.
  • Trademarks – Trademark identifies the source of goods or services’ origin. It often includes protection for your app’s logo, name, and slogan. Most of the app development companies register at least their app’s name as a trademark.

Also Read: Is Blockchain Intellectual Property Protection the Answer to Creators’ Copyright Problems?

3.  Jurisdiction

If you plan to launch a product overseas, make sure that it complies with local laws. Before marketing and distributing your product in international markets, hire a legal tech service expert to help you with all legal work. This would allow you to understand the laws of other countries for an efficient launch of the product.

Engaging with local professionals and seeking their insights can also provide valuable guidance in navigating regulatory landscapes and establishing a solid foundation for your international venture.

4. Business Structure

You must know how you want to operate your business. You can act as a sole trader, become a partner in a collaboration, or form a limited liability company. An LLC is considered the right operational structure as it limits your liability, safeguarding personal assets in the face of unforeseen challenges, making it an optimal choice for entrepreneurs seeking a balance between flexibility and protection.

5. App Store Agreements

Once the app is ready to be launched, the next step is to submit it to the Play Store or App Store. Your app must comply with all Google and Apple app publishing guidelines. You must also check government regulations for apps before bringing them to the market.

The terms and policies emphasize personal data protection and address IP issues concerning your app. These platforms also reserve the right to modify their legal terms or add new clauses when necessary. Your app must comply with the evolving changes, or it might face serious penalties.

Google Play Protect for mobile apps

6. Terms and Conditions

“Terms of Use” is a legal agreement that mobile app developers add to the app. The agreement is valid automatically as soon as the user downloads the app. It outlines crucial information about the app, stipulates how users are expected to use it, defines what actions qualify as improper or unlawful use, and specifies the consequences of such misuse.

A Terms of Use agreement is crucial because it reduces the risks of legal and ethical issues for mobile apps if a user misuses your product. By clearly defining the terms and conditions of app usage, this agreement acts as a protective measure for profitable apps and contributes to a more secure user experience.

7.  Privacy Policy

Privacy rights – specifically, the privacy rights of end-users of the app should not be overlooked. The prime way to address app users’ privacy rights is to comply with data protection laws such as GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA, ensuring that user data is handled with transparency and compliance. The privacy policy must explain to the users how the app will collect, store, and use their data. Such policies must also clarify the rights of end-users regarding their data. They must also know how to exercise their rights for data protection.

Here are a few steps to meet Privacy Policy requirements

  • Privacy Policy must be in place from the beginning of the mobile app development process.
  • It must be clear and transparent to prevent app development legal issues.
  • It should be in force and available for users as soon as they download the app.

8. End-User License Agreement (EULA)

The major app stores require apps on their platform to have an end-user license agreement (EULA). It is a contract between the app owner and users that specifies the terms under which the end-user will use the app and identifies all permissible and non-permissible uses. The EULA will also ensure that the user isn’t misusing the app in a harmful way.

Thus, your EULA must be enforceable, meaning the app user must agree to the EULA. The most effective way to get user consent is the use of “clickwrap agreements’’. Developers disclose them before the app is downloaded. The EULA is presented to the user, requiring them to confirm that they have read it and agreed to its terms by clicking the “I Accept” button.

9. User Consent and Permissions

Explicit user consent for data collection and device access is non-negotiable. Understanding the nuances of obtaining consent, especially for sensitive content, is essential to building trust and avoiding legal complications.

Prioritizing transparency and user control not only complies with data privacy regulations but also fosters an ethical relationship between service providers and users in the digital landscape.

You may like reading: How does blockchain resolve data privacy and security issues for businesses?

10. Security Measures

Implementing robust security measures such as two-factor authentication, biometric access, data encryption techniques, etc., are essential to protect user data from potential data breaches and mitigate legal challenges. Failure to implement adequate security measures may lead to legal consequences and poor user experience.

11. Compliances

Stay compliant with relevant industry standards and regulations, as failure to comply with essential standards can result in legal penalties and reputational damage. Also, with the increasing integration of AI technologies in apps, adherence to AI-related regulations has also become mandatory to ensure ethical use, data privacy, and fairness in decision-making processes.

Major industries where addressing mobile app development legal issues and compliances are of utmost importance:

  • Finance: GDPR, CCPA, and PCI DSS compliance are vital for financial apps to protect sensitive user data and ensure secure transactions.
  • Healthcare: HIPAA regulations are critical for healthcare apps to safeguard patients’ medical information and prevent unauthorized access or breaches.
  • eCommerce: Compliance with consumer protection laws like the FTC Act and GDPR is essential for eCommerce apps to ensure fair business practices and handle personal data securely.
  • Transportation: Adherence to regulations such as GDPR and CCPA is important for transportation apps to protect user data and ensure privacy.

Get service assistance to build a legally compliant app

Ensuring legal compliance and addressing ethical considerations are crucial for companies looking to develop a profitable application. Adhering to the above-mentioned legal requirements is essential to minimize legal risks and safeguard intellectual property rights. Collaborating with a reputable mobile application development company like Appinventiv can efficiently manage legal issues in app development while helping you navigate legal complexities and achieve your business goals.

How Does Appinventiv Ensure Legal Compliance in Mobile App Development?

At Appinventiv, we are dedicated to protecting the privacy of our clients and visitors. We make sure to address all legal issues in the software development process. Being a trusted mobile app development company, we reduce liability and contribute to your business’s success. Here are a few steps that we take to comply with legal requirements for the app development process:

  • At Appinventiv, we have a stringent Privacy Policy in place for visitors and clients to describe how we use and process their data. The Privacy Policy explains what happens to any personal information that we collect when someone visits our website.
  • We disclose every practice regarding collecting, using, and protecting personal information in our Privacy Policy.
  • We also encourage our clients to sign a non-disclosure agreement before discussing their app idea.
  • We sign app development contracts with clients to prevent legal issues in mobile app development. The contract generally specifies the scope of work or services, time limits, fee arrangements, code ownership, etc.

We have helped many SMBs and enterprises reach their app development and maintenance destination while successfully addressing legal challenges. KFC, Pizza Hut, The Body Shop, Soniphi, Adidas, Edamama, 6th Street, Edfundo, etc., are some of our esteemed clients who collaborated with us to visualize their app development projects.

Want to dive deeper to understand how mobile app development has helped some of our prestigious brands resolve their business challenges and take their businesses to greater heights? Read the blog: Mobile App Development in the Middle East – 6 Case Studies.

So, if you want expert assistance in navigating the complexities of app development and addressing mobile app development legal issues, get in touch with us. As a premier mobile app development company, we are committed to delivering unparalleled guidance and service tailored to your unique requirements.


Q. What are the legal requirements for app development?

A. Legal requirements for app development encompass various aspects to ensure compliance and user protection. Key considerations include:

  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Jurisdiction
  • Incorporate a Business
  • App Store Agreements
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • End-User License Agreement (EULA)
  • User Consent and Permissions
  • Security Measures

Staying informed about these legal requirements for creating an app is essential to ensure the security and success of applications.

Q. What is the cost of developing a legally compliant mobile application?

A. The cost of mobile app development varies widely based on several factors such as mobile app requirements, complexity, features, platform (iOS, Android, or both), location of app development company, and legal issues in mobile app development.

On average, a basic app with limited features costs around $25,000 to $100,000, while a more complex app with advanced features can cost around $100,000 to $300,000 or more.

Discuss your mobile app requirements with us to get a more accurate estimate of the app development cost and timeline.

Q. What are the prerequisites for mobile app development?

A. The requirements for mobile app development include defining the app’s purpose and target audience, determining the target audience, choosing a platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), creating a user-friendly interface, planning the app’s architecture, integrating necessary functionalities, ensuring data security and privacy, adhering to app store guidelines, and conducting thorough testing for quality assurance.

Additionally, legal issues in mobile app development, such as mobile app terms and conditions, privacy policies, and compliance with relevant regulations, should be addressed during the development process.

Peeyush Singh
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