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App Terms Guidelines

Last Updated: February 12th, 2015

Online end user license agreements, terms of use, terms of service or other forms of terms and conditions that govern the use of an application (“App Terms”) come in many flavors. From short App Terms to long, from complex verbiage to easy-reading, one size rarely fits all. It is your responsibility to determine the terms by which you license your app in the App Market and to ensure that your App Terms are consistent with the Clover Developer Terms. As a reminder, the Clover Developer Terms (See Part 1, Section 5) require that your App Terms:

  • comply with the applicable laws of the jurisdiction in which your app is to be published in the App Market;
  • do not materially conflict with the Developer Terms; and
  • do not state or suggest in any way that Clover or any of its affiliates is (a) a party to your App Terms; or (b) the licensor or provider of your app; and/or (c) liable to any person/entity in any way with respect to that person/entity’s use of your app.

If you amend your App Terms, you must submit your amended App Terms to Clover for approval before such App Terms are published or made available via the App Market.

Privacy Policy Guidelines

Like the App Terms above, you’ll find a wide variety of privacy policies and, again, one size rarely fits all: it’s most important that your privacy policy fits you. Still, there are some common themes that are important in the privacy world. We’ve listed some of them here. While you would need to consult your own privacy experts and legal counsel to ensure you’re meeting all applicable laws and requirements, we believe that the following guidelines will help you transform a good policy into a great one. Some are based on laws, some are based on industry practices, but we believe that all of them are good ideas.

  • Make it clear. Be transparent. There’s no need to use complicated language. If you do something with the user’s information, then say so. And if you don’t or won’t do something with the user’s information, then say that too. Put yourself in the user’s shoes: what would you want to know? And would you like it expressed clearly or in a confusing, complicated way?
  • Tell the user what kinds of personal information you collect through the app or website. For example, is it just their name? Is it their name and email address?
  • Tell the user whether any third parties will have access to the user’s personal information, and if so what kinds of third parties. For example, will you share the user’s personal information with third party marketing services? With your law firms and accountants?
  • Tell the user how to review and request changes to the personal information you collect. For example, do they need to call you at a certain number? Submit an email request? Use an online form? As mentioned above, you benefit when you make this easy for the user to understand.
  • Include an “effective date,” “last revised” date, or similar date at the beginning or end of your privacy policy.
  • Tell the user how, if at all, you respond to do not track signals submitted by web browsers. If you don’t respond to them, then say so. If you do respond to them, then say how. It’s often best if this (along with disclosures from the next bullet point about third party tracking) is included in a specific section of the policy dedicated to Do Not Track.
  • Tell the user if, by using your app or site, third parties can collect personal information about the user across websites and over time. If no third parties have this access or perform this tracking, then say that they don’t. If third parties do have access and do perform this tracking, then make sure users know that.
  • Keep the promises you make, and don’t make promises you can’t keep. If for example you say you won’t share the user’s personal information with third parties, then make sure that is and remains true (unless you change the privacy policy accordingly). And try to avoid absolute statements like “this app will never be hacked, ever, and we absolutely guarantee the security of your personal information no matter what.” It’s often better in those circumstances to be realistic and honest, for example talking about the app’s use of industry standard security measures (if true), reasonable safeguards like password protection or multi-factor authentication (if true), and so on.

Please note that the guidelines described above are provided as a courtesy. They do not address any terms or conditions that may be relevant to your business or processes. Further, they do not constitute legal advice, should not be treated as legal advice, do not create any attorney-client relationship, and do not eliminate or lessen your contractual obligation to determine your own App Terms and Privacy Policy requirements.