The US Federal Trade Commission wants to congratulate you if you’ve decided to get in the exciting and lucrative business of designing and marketing new applications for mobile devices. They’d also like to gently remind you that they’re watching you, all current business laws are applicable and breaking them can get you in trouble. To help ensure compliance the FTC has issued a concise set of guidelines targeted at mobile app developers and marketers titled “Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right From The Start.”

The guidelines are of course not intended as a substitute for professional legal guidance but should serve as a helpful primer and general reference for developers and anyone involved in marketing a product intended for digital use.

Basically it’s a summation of the objectives behind truth in advertising and privacy laws and the practices required to meet them. Marketers are reminded that a product should do what it’s advertised to do, that false and misleading claims, by omission or otherwise, can lead to trouble, and that any key information about a product and it’s use has to be clearly and conspicuously displayed and not hidden in the fine print.

Privacy constitutes the bulk of the guidelines’ focus and the FTC warns that dozens of companies that didn’t take privacy claims seriously have had action taken against them. Sensitive data should be collected only with user consent, and of course that data must be kept securely.

Affiliates should find the new guidelines to be a good refresher on best marketing practices to stay in compliance with the law and to help keep their customers happy. And as a reminder that the FTC is keeping an eye on things.

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